The latest Gaza ceasefire continues to hold, and the Cairo-based peace talks seem to still be making good progress, despite Israeli officials warning of significant gaps that remain before a long-term truce can be finalized.
The biggest gap may not be in the negotiations themselves, but in the Israeli security cabinet, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has an uphill battle in trying to convince many to accept peace on any terms.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who is seen as on Netanyahu’s side in the cabinet, seems to be trying to reassure the hawks that peace isn’t imminent, insisting today that the Gaza operation could be far from over.
The most recent reports suggest the deal in principle already involves expanding Gaza’s fishing zone from three miles to six, with Israel promising to expand it to 12 in the future. Israel also promises to ease travel between Gaza and the West Bank, and increase the amount of trucks allowed to bring merchandise into the strip.
The big sticking point remains the construction of a UN-managed seaport, and/or reopening the Gaza International Airport. Israel insists it isn’t prepared to discuss either, though this may just be a negotiating tactic.
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