If past is prologue, the current exchange of fire between militants in Gaza, mainly Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Israel will end in an extended period of quiet for Israel and marginal improvements for Gazans. Hamas’ legitimacy will be bolstered and the clock counting down to the next conflagration will be duly reset.

As of this writing, this is what appears to be taking shape: A ceasefire deal apparently reached in Cairo will involve at least a recommitment to the understandings reached in November with Qatar, whose role in precipitating this crisis should not be overlooked. In contrast to the bombastic rhetoric on both sides, Hamas isn’t trying, and indeed can’t, move the needle in a significant way (for example, compelling Israel to fully lift its blockade of Gaza). Instead, the terror group is betting that Israel will fold on smaller matters rather than risk a major conflict a week before the country is set to host the Eurovision Song Contest. They are probably right.

But if there is only one ugly way out of the current fighting, Israel’s options are thankfully more palatable when considering the long term. If I had to wager a guess, the powerful allure of the status quo will win out, but it’s nevertheless crucial to firmly reject the flawed notion that Israel has no choices available but bad ones. After this current round of fighting, a responsible Israeli government would seek to address the evident humanitarian crisis in Gaza and cease undermining the Palestinian government that has not only forsworn violence against Israel but has done much over the years to maintain quiet for Israel.

To begin with Gaza: The reason Hamas launched its most recent attacks has little to do with its murderous founding charter, whose eliminationist goals can’t be achieved through rocket fire. They are desperate to cling onto power in squalid and barely livable circumstances and could not afford the shortfall of Qatari cash for much longer. The World Bank projects little to no economic growth there over the next three years. A sustainability plan for Gaza is crucial in preventing more rounds of intense fighting.

While Israeli and Palestinian leaders have proven myopic, policy experts have been hard at work over the years devising ways to improve day-to-day life in Gaza. The most impressive effort I’ve seen is the December 2018 report written by the Center for a New American Security and the Brookings Institution (to which Israel Policy Forum also contributed). Israel, not interested in seeing immediate regime change, has an important interest in seeing a stable and habitable Gaza. It should therefore pursue every avenue available to ameliorate conditions in the coastal strip. Not everything in the CNAS-Brookings plan could be achieved without buy-in from Hamas, which is difficult to get in better times, but it offers an important blueprint for the future.

One potential damper is the tendency to see economic and humanitarian initiatives as a convenient replacement for necessary political progress. This is why no plan for Gaza will succeed without an immediate end to the counterproductive joint U.S.-Israel campaign to punish and isolate the Palestinian Authority.

Before the rockets were launched this past weekend, the main focus had been on the tax transfer crisis now entering its fourth month. Israel has started to deduct what it estimates is the amount the PA pays in pensions to the families of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces or serving time in Israeli prisons. Unsurprisingly, since doing so would legitimize Israeli dictates over Palestinians tax revenue, President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to accept the reduced funds in their entirety. Last week, the United Nations warned of the prospect of “financial collapse.” The American decision to zero-out humanitarian aid to Palestinians is, of course, an unjustifiable addition to this misery. Israel and its international allies must work to bring an end to this standoff. The suggestion floated at last week’s European Union meeting in Brussels, which the Palestinians declined, to means-test and integrate these pensions into the broader social welfare system, is a good foundation from which to work off.

The perverse image of Hamas receiving its Qatari cash installments, while the PA is forced to beg for money to which it is entitled under the Paris Protocol, is one that underlines the message that violence works and cooperation projects weakness, which is precisely the narrative Hamas favors.

Unfortunately, the next coalition government in Israel will probably be the most hawkish and least compromising in the country’s history, making these suggestions politically poisonous for a prime minister mainly concerned with consolidating right-wing support and thwarting impending indictments against him. More avoidable tragedy ahead.