In fact Israel has a well-honed strategy for the future. It was being implemented long before Hamas came to office and will continue regardless of whether it stays there, falls or even submits to the “three conditions”. It was authored by Sharon and propounded by Olmert. They called it “separation” but it boils down to Israel’s final, unilateral determination of its borders.
There are three planks. The first is to complete construction of the West Bank wall, which – if the current route is adhered to – will incorporate 10 per cent of the West Bank, including “Greater Jerusalem”, into Israel. The second is to ethnically cleanse the Jordan Valley of its Palestinian residents so that it, too, will become “effectively annexed” to Israel. The third is the effect a permanent severance between the West Bank and Gaza, with the latter becoming the de facto Palestinian “state” with the life support courtesy of its crossing into Egypt. All three of these policies are well advanced, and were so before the 25 January Palestinian Authority elections.