The occupation in Gaza won't be solved through military interventions. Each time, Israel proclaims that there will be a decisive turning point for its defence and security. Each time, it has been wrong; still nobody questions the method. The Lebanese War in 1982 was mainly waged by the Tsahal in order to eradicate the PLO's presence in South Lebanon. It was a blunt reality that the PLO had created a "state within a state" system and used Lebanon as a safe haven against the Israeli threat. The war was successful, and the PLO's presence in Lebanon ended once and for all. Incidentally, when the Sabra and Shatila massacres took place, hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent lives were destroyed, but the objective was reached, no more PLO in Lebanon.
The reaction came, only a few months after, but not from the conventional army of an enemy state. Palestinian children and youngsters revolted in the West Bank. The Intifada, a term that the public became acquainted with thereafter, has been a desperate revolt against injustice. South Lebanon has been virtually occupied by Hezbollah, a much more radical armed organisation. It took years but instead of the PLO Israel had to deal with an organisation whose most visible political agenda is the total annihilation of Israel. Unlike the PLO, no other armed movement after the Lebanese War of 1982 has ever tried to face the Tsahal directly.
This was plainly not possible… In 2006, Israel did attack the Southern Lebanese territories it had left in 2000 and that have been occupied by Hezbollah since, to no avail. A huge number of civilian lives were lost, but the Tsahal lost just 120 soldiers, whereas Hezbollah acknowledged the loss of 250 militants years after the conflict. For the first time, a large operation staged by the Israeli Defence Force had been unsuccessful. Hezbollah is still holding Southern Lebanon and has become, in the meantime, one of the major political forces in Lebanon, having seats in the cabinet.
In 1982, both Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir refused to deal with the PLO, "a terrorist organisation." This is also a constant in Israeli policies. They were on the other side willing to deal with "moderate Palestinian leaders not members of the PLO," who, as Shimon Perez wrote in his memoires, existed only in their imagination. Today's Israeli policies are not so different: Netanyahu refuses to deal with the "terrorist" Hamas, but there is no one else to represent Palestinians in Gaza.
A number of attacks on Gaza over the years only resulted in a fully operational guerrilla warfare waged by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It has also resulted in heavy civilian losses, which also risks becoming another constant in Israeli policies. Gaza is no Vietnam, but the tunnel structure to resist Israeli forces, the abnegation of the fighters and the inextricable political situation may pretty well create a "Vietnam like situation."
There is no military solution to the problem, but again, what is the problem? The right of Israel to live in internationally recognised frontiers, in security and stability? What about Palestinians? Are they not allowed to have the right to live in internationally recognised frontiers, in security and stability? Apparently not, so long as their houses crumble, their roads are filthy, their schooling remains poor, their traffic abominable, their politicians either corrupt or radical, and the best: there has never been a purely "Palestinian" state beforehand… This is plainly "dehumanising" Palestinians.
Daniel Barenboim, who remains one of the many to have understood the real problem, went to Gaza to direct a very tiny classical music orchestra.
After the performance, a young Palestinian violinist told him: "Maestro, when you direct us, your hands create life"… Yes, Palestinians are like all of us, they aspire to live like all of us and, when fired upon, they die. How many Palestinian Anna Frank have lost their lives in Gaza, we will never know.