…any cease-fire remain in place for a period of several years. Israel is also demanding an Egyptian commitment to prevent the smuggling of weapons from Sinai into Gaza, and that Hamas or other terror group members be kept 500 meters from the border fence. Israel also wants international assurance that, if necessary, it would be allowed to operate over the border to foil terror attacks.
Israel knows that, not only would these demands be unacceptable to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, but that such demands would be impossible to monitor. They would lead to the Gaza being even more isolated than it already is as well as being deprived of defences leaving the enclave effectively devoid of any protection. Furthermore, the Egyptian people are also unlikely to abide by any Israeli demands even if their government did go along with it. Already Egyptian demonstrators are assembling at the Gaza/Egypt border to enter the Gaza Strip in support of the Palestinians.
For their part, Hamas is apparently demanding that both the naval and land blockade be lifted, demands that Israel are unlikely to accede to, particularly the naval blockade. This leaves little left to bargain with, so, while I hope that some kind of peace can be agreed to for everyone’s sake, I still fear the reality is that Israel has every intention of invading the Gaza Strip and the talk of peace is just part of Israel’s “Well, we tried but…” propaganda drive to score badly needed points in the worlds public opinion polls. And if, indeed, any truce is agreed, it will likely be very short-lived.