Beyond the Gaza Ceasefire

It has not been easy to achieve the current truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The task now is to take steps aimed at making it the basis for a relaxation of tensions and, ultimately, a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

TEL AVIV – Finally, the long-sought truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has become a reality.

Reaching this uneasy state has not been easy. For months, wise and responsible people had exhorted Israel to accept the ceasefire that the Hamas leadership in Gaza had proposed. But Israel’s government, using all kinds of pretexts, stubbornly resisted.

“A truce would weaken Palestinian President Abu Mazen,” officials claimed, as if the construction of new Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the refusal to dismantle previous illegal ones had not already weakened him. Or they argued that “Hamas does not recognize the state of Israel,” as if other ceasefire agreements with the Arab states and the PLO in the last 60 years had been based on recognition of Israel, rather than on a simple ethical principle that has guided Israel for many years, namely to gain, for us and our enemies, a pause in hostilities.

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