Why both Israel and Hamas may reject a truce

ToI’s Avi Issacharoff lays out the reasons why Israel and Hamas — who both would like a return to quiet — might not agree in the end to a truce based on the Egyptian proposal.

“The proposal is broadly favorable to Israel,” he writes, “though it does give certain international legitimacy to Hamas and will likely strengthen the group’s position among the Palestinians in the near future. The agreement would also restrict Israel’s ability to operate in the Gaza Strip and would allow Hamas to continuously arm itself as it pleases.

“Another ‘problem’ the proposal poses for Israel is the return of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas from the sidelines to the forefront of the political scene, including in Gaza itself. It is doubtful that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman would be excited to see such a development. While to many in Israel Abbas’s return may sound more like a solution then a problem, it is unlikely this trio of politicians share that point of view.”

Palestinian Fatah delegation chief Azzam al-Ahmed, center, and members of the delegation leave the hotel where the negotiations are taking place with Egyptian intelligence mediators aimed at brokering an end to the Gaza conflict on August 12, 2014 in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. (photo credit: AFP/KHALED DESOUKI)
Palestinian Fatah delegation chief Azzam al-Ahmed, center, and members of the delegation leave the hotel where the negotiations are taking place with Egyptian intelligence mediators aimed at brokering an end to the Gaza conflict on August 12, 2014 in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. (photo credit: AFP/KHALED DESOUKI)

It is even more problematic for Hamas: “Initially, Hamas might boast of having ‘lifted the blockade,’ in light of the clauses in the Egyptian deal that would see an easing of terms at the border crossings and a widening of the area off the Gaza coast open to fishermen. But in the long term, the proposal does not change the situation in Gaza significantly, at least not in favor of Hamas.

“The organization would be limited in terms of its ability to construct tunnels and to attack Israel. The agreement would give Abbas a foothold in Gaza as well. In some ways, it would simply render Hamas irrelevant.”

Read the full analysis here.

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