Israel and Hamas have both agreed to another 72-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, scheduled to begin 8 AM local time Tuesday morning. Previous ceasefires have rarely lasted more than an hour or two.
The plan is for the truce to include indirect negotiations in Cairo toward a long-term settlement to end the conflict outright. The Palestinian delegation actually already arrived yesterday, and are just waiting for Israel to send one.
The last such ceasefire and talks were to have begun Friday, and ended almost immediately with Israel attacking a tunnel, which they insisted didn’t count, then blaming Hamas for violating the ceasefire when fighters in the tunnel fired back at them.
Israel is therefore going into this ceasefire with an even bigger chip on its shoulder, insisting it doesn’t trust that Hamas will actually comply, though with Israel claiming to have destroyed every single tunnel in Gaza that will no longer be a specific issue.
The bigger question is whether Israel even wants a negotiated settlement, as signs in recent days have pointed to them hoping to just let the war sort of die down on its own without making any concessions to the bombarded strip, and officials have talked up the open-ended nature of the war, with more missions to announce and to complete.
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