Gaza Ceasefire


By Daniella Peled
July 10, 2008
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How long will the Gaza ceasefire hold? No-one has very high expectations, and neither side are putting great efforts into maintaining it. The armed Palestinian groups have been firing the odd rocket; and on Thursday, Israel killed an 18-year-old al-Aqsa Martyrs brigade gunman just by the border - the first fatality since the agreement was reached last month. The Kassams followed in quick succession.

The big prize for Hamas would be the re-opening of the Rafah crossing to re-open, but it looks unlikely. Israel, for its part, does not expect this to happen. And Egypt, ever wary of being handed the responsibility for Gaza, has no interest in it re-opening either.

Everyone wants the negotiations over captured soldier Gilad Shalit to be accelerated. But apart from that, there are few common interests in this ceasefire, beyond the civilians on either side of the Gaza fence who would like a precious bit of peace and quiet.

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