As casualties mount and calls for a cease-fire grow, the war in Gaza is probably close to quitting time. But nobody should be foolish enough to think that silencing the guns will mean a return to the pre-war status quo.
For Israel, a business-as-usual approach is no longer possible. The barrage of Hamas rockets cannot be tolerated again because the weapons’ increased range puts the entire population in harm’s way.
But something else also happened in the last two weeks, and the shock waves are just starting to roll through Israeli society. The discovery of Hamas’vast tunnel system, which would have allowed thousands of terrorists to cross under the border and emerge inside the Jewish state to carry out surprise attacks, was a wake-up call that is certain to lead to a harder national line against the Palestinians.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu already declared that the threat caused by the tunnels means Israel cannot accept a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank.