The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas with the mediation of Egypt, which came into force this morning at 2 am, seems to be delayed, and it was not preceded by any mass rocket barrage from the Gaza Strip, as it was feared. A fire broke out in Israeli border settlements last night.
Israel describes the ceasefire as “unconditional” and “reciprocal.” The reason for agreeing to this, as he was presented to the ministers in the security cabinet, was that Israel’s goals were achieved: Hamas suffered several heavy blows, most of its missile production capabilities were destroyed, as well as most of the tunnel and underground network of facilities and special weapons. unmanned submarines. According to a military briefing, half the stockpiles of terrorist organizations’ rockets from the Gaza Strip were fired or destroyed, and about 150 terrorists were killed, many of them of senior rank in Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
In the diplomatic field, Israel enjoyed the impressive and perhaps surprising support of many European countries, which prevented a negative decision from the point of view of Israel by the EU. Some countries have even sent senior envoys to express support, which is more than a symbolic gesture. As for the Americans, the picture is a bit more complicated: statements by the administration in support of Israel’s right to defend itself from rocket attacks, but impatience to see a ceasefire and criticism of the deaths of children in IDF attacks.
Israel emphasizes that there are no conditions for a ceasefire other than its reciprocity, while Hamas spokesmen declare victory over the Jerusalem issue, as if Israel has pledged to avoid entering the Temple Mount and freeze the emigration of Arab residents from Sheikh Jarra.
At the meeting of the security cabinet, which unanimously approved the ceasefire, the question was asked: “Okay, that’s for now, what’s next?” There was no clear answer, and ministers were instructed not to give interviews or talk to reporters about the meeting.
Nevertheless, according to the information we have obtained, a temporary ceasefire has been agreed, partly accepted for humanitarian reasons, in order to give the residents of the Gaza Strip a break and enable them to bring in vital supplies. the truce will take place indirectly, mainly through Egyptian mediation, but with the involvement of other parties.
An important condition set by Israel in the negotiations, which has strong European support, is that there should be no rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip, shipments of cement and construction materials, while terrorist organizations are rebuilding their military capabilities.
There is also an Israeli proposal to transfer control of the Gaza Strip to international bodies. The gaps between Israel and Hamas are wide and the organization is unlikely to agree to restrictions on rebuilding its military capability and will bypass any imposed ones.
It is also likely that rocket fire will be renewed during the negotiations, and the test for Israel will be how it will respond to that and to violations of any agreement reached. Ultimately, Hamas is a terrorist organization that wants to destroy Israel, and only by overthrowing its rule will it remove the strategic threat it poses.
Posted by Globes, business news in Israel – en.globes.co.il – May 21, 2021
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