The Gaza Conundrum: Debating the merits of an Israel-Hamas ceasefire - Kogonuso


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Aug 6, 2018

The Gaza Conundrum: Debating the merits of an Israel-Hamas ceasefire

What might be in store for the Gaza Strip?

When Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week announced the cancellation of his trip to Colombia, citing the "situation in the south," the move was widely construed as a prelude to a possible breakthrough in negotiations to forge a long-term ceasefire agreement with Hamas. And, indeed, the Israeli cabinet was slated on Sunday to discuss an emerging multi-phased proposal.

The first stage reportedly calls for the immediate end to all hostilities and the permanent re-opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and the Kerem Shalom passage, through which Israel transfers goods and humanitarian aid to Gaza. Thereafter, if the truce holds, the living conditions of Gazans are to be improved through the lifting of the joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade, whereas the rift between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah faction and Hamas is meant to be healed. Finally, the international community will invest heavily in Gaza-based infrastructure projects, including the possible construction of air and sea ports.
At some point, Hamas would return to Israel two civilian captives and the remains of two soldiers killed in Gaza during the 2014 war, likely in exchange for the freeing of Palestinians re-incarcerated following their release in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner-swap deal.


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