Kamis, 22 November 2012

Ceasefire Agreement Israel and Hamas Guarantees

Ceasefire Agreement Between Israel and Hamas Guarantees Only Temporary Truce   

israel and the Palestinian movement Hamas reached a ceasefire agreement bringing to a halt the latest round of fighting on 21 November 2012. In accordance with this deal brokered by the government of Egypt, Tel Aviv stopped surgical strikes and military operations, and Islamic groups in Gaza pledged to refrain from further rocket and terrorist attacks.

According to Israeli historian and political strategist David Aidelman, it is extremely important that Cairo became the guarantor of the ceasefire deal.

“Suleiman al-Daya issued fatwa which says that honoring ceasefire agreement, brokered by Egypt, is the duty of all Gaza citizens; though earlier it seemed impossible to hear that from the Gaza cleric. However, Israel will be able to estimate the success of the Operation Pillar of Defence only over time, taking into account how long the ceasefire lasts,” the analyst said.

In his opinion, one of the problems of the recent escalation is that Hamas received partial legitimacy.
“This has a negative impact on the image of Israel in the international arena. In addition, this round of conflict weakened more moderate head of the Palestinian Authority - the Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas - who suggests fighting against Israel without resorting to violence,” David Aidelman noted.
He stressed that many Israeli observers believe the operation was incomplete since the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip had not been overthrown.

“Eternal peace with Hamas is impossible: the representatives of this group follow the dogma of radical Islam, according to which land conquered by Muslims can never be returned to “disbelievers.” Hamas considers Israelis “disbelievers.” Probably, they would like to find an agreement, but following their religious principles they cannot even recognize the right of Israel to exist. So, this is just temporary lull, which (the later the better) will be again replaced by armed conflict and military operations,” said the Israeli political strategist.

“It is impossible to reach a settlement with the organization that cannot sign any peace agreement. One of the Palestinians’ problems is that their moderate wing could never suppress radicals,” David Adelman added.

In turn, Israeli publicist and public figure Avigdor Eskin believes that there is no peaceful solution to the problem.

“Before the Operation Pillar of Defence, terrorists fired dozens of rockets and attacked Israel border patrol. In response, Israel launched military operation that resulted in elimination of a significant part of terrorists’ military potential. Though we can assume that in a few months they will recruit new people and will try to strike new blows. There are times when there is no peaceful solution. Hamas leaders do not hide their goal of destroying Israel, and if this goal is the basis of their existence, force may be the only solution,” the analyst emphasized.

Dr. Kamal Sido, the head of Middle East Department of the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) took the opposite view. According to him, it is possible and necessary to resolve this conflict peacefully.
“Our organization calls for the formation of the two states: Israel and Palestine. These countries have to co-exist within the 1967 borders. To do this, Israel should return the occupied territories, and all Arab countries have to recognize Israel and its borders. This is the solution. And it is the only way to resolve this conflict,” the expert said in an interview with news agency “PenzaNews.”
However, according to him, now Tel Aviv will not take this step because of the difficult situation in the Arab world: much will depend on the solution of the Syrian crisis and Iranian issue.

“In my view, the Middle East Quartet mediators have to strengthen their work in this area, though now they are more concerned with the problems of Damascus and Tehran. It is impossible to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine by military means. What needs to be done is to pressure on both sides of the conflict in order to convince them to form two independent states,” Kamal Sido said.

Meanwhile, well-known public figure in Israel and Russia, reformist rabbi Gregory Kotlyar stressed that military operations can only provide temporary truce, but not a long-term peace.

“This approach achieves only a brief respite while terrorists dig new bunkers, replenish stocks of arms and prepare for a new round of conflict. Tel Aviv, in principle, is willing to negotiate, but on condition that Hamas renounces terrorism and its declarative intention to “wipe Israel off the map,” said Gregory Kotlyar and added that Israeli military actions were never aimed against civilian people of Gaza.
According to the analyst, Hamas enjoys unlimited Iranian support that primarily involves the supply of weapons.

“Maybe if it were possible to break this bond, Hamas would be able to make concessions and give up the war, - then there would be a chance to resolve the conflict. Otherwise, we will see its new outbreaks in the foreseeable future,” emphasized Gregory Kotlyar.

Meanwhile, European experts made predictions about the changes in the strategic landscape of the region.
Dr. Laleh Khalili, senior lecturer in politics of the Middle East School of Oriental and African Studies, London, suggested that things might change marginally for Gazans, since Hamas’s allies are on the ascendant in the Middle East.

“But given the status of Israel as the primary US ally in the Middle East, large scale changes will not come about,” the analyst said.

According to her, this wave of conflict between Hamas and Israel was partially about internal Israeli politics where the government in power tried to look powerful on the eve of the upcoming elections, and partially about testing both the Iron Dome and diplomatic relations with Egypt and US in a run-up to a possible attack on Iran.
Analyzing the outcome of the recent conflict, Hugh Lovatt, Middle East Peace Process Project Officer at the European Council on Foreign Relations stated that “despite the best efforts of the Israeli Prime Minister’s office to spin the ceasefire agreement as an Israeli victory, the inescapable truth is that Hamas seems to have gotten the better end of the stick.”

“The recent violence has allowed Hamas to strengthen its position. It looks to have ended its regional isolation with the ceasefire agreement promising a general easing of the current siege. In a sign of pan-regional solidarity a high-profile delegation of ten Foreign Ministers from Arab countries and Turkey led by Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi visited the Strip despite on-going strikes. Moreover, Hamas seems to have won the moral backing of Turkey, Egypt and Qatar. While all three of these countries played a crucial role in bringing opposing sides together in ceasefire negotiations, they also took outspoken positions in supporting the Palestinian cause and criticizing Israeli actions,” the expert reminded.
In his opinion, the significance of this ceasefire extends beyond the narrow confines of the Israeli - Palestinian conflict.

“The actions of Egypt, Qatar and Turkey seem to reinforce the notion of a new triumvirate of regional powers emerging in the wake of the tectonic shifts produced by the Arab Spring. These three are increasingly setting themselves up to be key backroom players in trouble shooting the region’s various conflicts, not least thanks to a pragmatism that has so far enabled them to engage in dialogue with competing sides and win growing Western confidence.

 But the international community should be under no illusions; Doha, Cairo and Ankara have little intention of becoming Deputy Sheriff. Rather, they can be expected to pursue policies in accordance with their own long-term strategic interests. These have so far been mostly in synch with those of the West, but this may not always be the case in the future. While it is too early to tell what the long term impact of this potential grouping will be, the recent conflict has offered a tantalizing glimpse of what a new form of Middle Eastern politics based around a Cairo-Ankara-Doha axis could look like it,” Hugh Lovatt concluded.

Operation Pillar of Defence is an Israel Defense Forces operation in the Gaza Strip, which started on 14 November 2012 in response to Gaza rocket fire and attacks against Israeli soldiers on the Israel - Gaza border.

According to some media, 177 Palestinians were killed, 120 of who were militants; more than 900 were wounded. In Israel, two soldiers and four civilians were killed; 239 were injured.
On 21 November 2012, Israel and Hamas reached the US-Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement.



 by Opinion

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