When the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip formally ended last week, the belligerent parties seemingly couldn’t wait to return to a status quo of being constantly at one another’s throats. But like a pair of boasting drunkards who schedule a duel after a night of liquor, the cold reality of morning seems to have hit, and both Hamas and the Israel government seem to recognize that neither stands to gain anything from renewed hostilities.
Hamas, who ended the ceasefire in the first place, seems willing to go back to the initial terms of the June truce, provided Israel abides by them. it has also ordered militants to hold their fire for the time being. Meanwhile aides to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert suggest he is open to that as well, and if actions speak louder than words the Israeli government did something it hadn’t done in quite some time, it allowed food into the Gaza Strip.
Egypt seems to be a prime mover in the new push for peace, which if it succeeds might finally provide some relief to the 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip, who have been largely without food and medicine during the Israeli siege. How long it would last remains to be seen, as both major candidates to be Olmert’s replacement have promised to topple the Hamas regime.