By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
The ceasefire between Hamas in Gaza and Israel was broken. It was also timed out. No surprise.
Now, again, Hamas is launching rockets and Israel is countering with airstrikes. Israelis were told to stay in their bomb shelters.
Hamas is claiming that Israel dragged their feet in this stage of the negotiations. They were probably correct.
At this point there is no doubt that, from Israel's perspective, Israel would be giving way too many concessions to Hamas in a long term status accord. So it is in Israel's interests to just create a new status quo and live by it.
Hamas was not budging. Israel was giving in to more and more demands. At a certain point Israel simply said enough.
That is where the talks are now. In many ways this kind of status quo is better than an agreement that is neither applicable nor enforceable. In the new status quo Israel will have to use its own power of deterrence to make certain that Hamas does not step out of line.
At the beginning it will be very important that Israel clearly send that message and set down the cost of violating the status quo to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. If Israel does not respond quickly and strongly, Hamas will not understand the high price of firing at Israel and disturbing the peace and quiet of the Israeli citizens that live near Gaza and in all parts of Israel.
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