Could Israel and Gaza Agree to a Long-Term Truce?
Most experts agree that when it comes to Gaza, something has to change fast. The humanitarian crisis in the strip is severe and quickly deteriorating, but Israel won’t lift its blockade until Hamas ceases aggression against Israel. Could a long-term truce in which Israel eases the blockade and Hamas ceases all military activities (sometimes referred to as a “hudna”) be a viable solution for both parties?
Israel is considering agreeing to a long-term cessation of hostilities with Hamas after rejecting the offer for weeks… Egyptian and Qatari officials are each proposing and mediating their suggestions for an agreement that would see Israel significantly ease its blockade of Gaza in exchange for the complete cessation of rocket fire and of the digging by terror groups of cross-border tunnels used to carry out attacks in Israeli territory. Hamas would also have to agree to not use materials allowed into Gaza under the loosened restrictions for its military apparatus.
Hamas offers truce deals whenever it runs into serious trouble. In 1997, the movement felt isolated after being left out of the Palestinian institution-building that appeared a preparation for the establishment of a Palestinian state under the terms of the Oslo peace agreements…The Hamas political leadership has been aware for a while that absent a significant easing of the siege, the organization will no longer be able to run the Strip since the popular protests by desperate residents would not only be directed at Israel but would also turn against Hamas.
…the terms of cease-fire are beyond what either Israel or Hamas could ever possibly agree to. For Hamas they would require the dismantling of its military capabilities… Israel would have to agree to fully lift the blockade of Gaza, open the borders, the construction of a seaport and an airport in Gaza and some even say a freeze on Israel’s military development. These conditions for both parties are beyond imaginable… Today there is no basis for any form of trust between the parties.