Secretary of State John Kerry and other officials are talking up “progress” made on the attempts to broker a Gaza ceasefire, though so far the indications are that neither Hamas nor the Israeli government are on board.
US officials indicated that the goal was to get a ceasefire first, and then do some negotiation to try to come up with a settlement afterwards. Both Hamas and Israel, by contrast, are pushing demands that they want before ceasing fire.
It’s not just that they don’t trust post-war talks, though they surely don’t. Rather, each side is desperate to paint each of these wars as a “victory,” and needs some concession they can put forward as proof they won.
Hamas has made its 10-point demands public, with the main goals ending the blockade of the strip, and allowing the Gaza airport and seaport to reopen under UN supervision.
Israel, by contrast, hasn’t made their specific goals that clear, though destroying every single tunnel in the strip and eliminating all rocket fire seem to be top of the list.
Hamas wouldn’t need the tunnels if the blockade was lifted, though Israel is unlikely to agree to that, and Hamas similarly isn’t going to agree to wholesale disarmament that would threaten their control of the strip against rival factions.
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