Hamas Declares Victory, But Terms Fall Short
Hamas is declaring victory, after an agreement with Israel for an open-ended cease-fire. And throughout Gaza, there’s been the sound of celebratory gunfire.
But the terms of the deal fall far short of the demand by Hamas that Israel and Egypt open Gaza’s borders.
Under the deal brokered by Egypt, Israel is supposed to ease imports into Gaza, including aid and material for reconstruction. In a month, the cease-fire calls for talks to begin in Cairo on more complex issues, including Israel’s demand that Hamas disarm.
Previous cease-fire deals have collapsed since the war began last month, and it’s not clear if this one will hold. It took effect at 7 p.m., local time, but violence persisted until the last minute.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is a long-time rival of Hamas, would likely play a key role in any new border deal for Gaza. He lost control of the territory after Hamas seized it in 2007.
It’s possible that forces loyal to Abbas could be posted at Gaza border crossings to ease fears by Israel and Egypt about renewed attempts by Hamas to smuggle weapons into the territory.