As Gaza Ceasefire Holds, Many Doubt It Will Last

Hamas Leader Vows to Respect Ceasefire if Israel Does

by Jason Ditz, November 21, 2012

With the ceasefire taking hold at 2 PM EST in the Gaza Strip, many were expecting it to collapse in a matter of hours. Yet by evening the deal was still holding, and seems to be solid, at least to the extent anything in the region is solid.

But with mistrust high on both sides, analysts say it “might not last very long,” and some Israeli officials are just selling the ceasefire on the grounds that it might eventually collapse and really give them an excuse for a big war.

“The Egyptians and Americans have backed this deal, so if it falls apart they know that we would have a legitimate reason to go in hard,” noted one. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, however, says the faction will respect the truce so long as Israel does.

In the end, the real challenge to the ceasefire is likely to come from smaller Gaza factions that didn’t agree to go along with the deal, particularly in the near term as Hamas is focused mostly on rebuilding its own infrastructure instead of keeping its rivals in check.

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