All three papers discuss various issues regarding the escalation in the south:
The Jerusalem Post notes that “After four days of conflict, the present round of clashes with terrorist organizations in Gaza appears to have come to an end,” but adds that due to Egypt’s increasing radicalism, there is a “very real possibility that the political interest of Hamas and Egypt to maintain calm in Gaza could change.” The editor concludes: “Unfortunately, as the fragile cease-fire takes effect and over a million Israelis in the South begin to return to normal life, there are already signs of the next round of clashes on the horizon.”
Yediot Aharonot analyzes the situation in Gaza. The author asserts that "Islamic Jihad has succeeded in pushing Hamas into a corner," and adds: "Islamic Jihad has become the main force that threatens Hamas’s hegemony, at least regarding the struggle and opposition to Israel." The paper says that "Hamas, unlike Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, is an organization that aspires to rule and, therefore, its leaders, both in Gaza and abroad, have decided to work towards a calm, whereas Jihad and the Committees have a very simple ideology: War, war and war against Israel until it is destroyed. Hamas wants an Islamic regime, to take over the Palestinian Authority, and Arab and international legitimacy; therefore, it is trying to act responsibly." The author believes that the foregoing, along with mounting criticism of the way Hamas has handled the economy in Gaza and other issues, has led to drop in support for Hamas and a corresponding rise in support for Islamic Jihad; thus, the author avers, "Gaza is becoming more extremist." The paper concludes that the next round "is only a question of time."
Ma’ariv reminds its readers that "Ariel Sharon, in his day, planned that after we would leave Gaza, all Kassams would be met with an automatic artillery barrage. The lawyers stopped this. It is becoming clear that there is no other solution. We need not come up with anything new, merely do what the Russians, Americans, British and French and any other country that loves life would do in a similar situation. Otherwise it will never end."
Yisrael Hayom believes that "The last five days of fighting in Gaza have not fundamentally changed anything," and suggests that "In Israel and Gaza, they will now utilize the temporary calm in order to study the events of recent days and draw lessons from them ahead of the next round."
Haaretz discusses a new internet campaign focusing on the brutal Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, who heads the most wanted list of the International Criminal Court, which was seen by over 80 million people within four days of its upload. The editor asserts that “It would not be far-fetched to assume that a similar film will be made about the Palestinian conflict,” and adds: “once the heartrending images of bleeding children are seared into the consciousness of tens of millions of people, it’s doubtful that even 46 pauses for applause in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC will be able to erase the damage.”
[Ronnie Shaked, Ben Caspit and Yoav Limor wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]