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As I write this the 72-hour Israel/Hamas ceasefire is in its sixth hour, lasting five hours longer than the one attempted last week. Actually unlike the eight proceeding secessions of violence, this one may actually hold.

  • Israel finished destroying the tunnels.  Over the weekend Israel announced that it would be able to finish tunnel operations on Monday or Tuesday and started removing troops from the Gaza Strip. Long before the ceasefire was announced Israel announced that the job of destroying the tunnels had indeed been completed.
  • No more “low hanging fruit.” After the destruction of the tunnels, the only targets left for Israel were the rockets. A next stage involving eliminating the rockets would cause even more civilian casualties than the mission has caused so far as they were probably even more protected by human shields.
  • Israel agreed to pull the rest of her troops. While it wasn’t announced that way Israel’s agreement to pull the remaining troops out of Gaza was probably a condition of the ceasefire. The only reason they were able to do that was their belief that the tunnels were all destroyed.  Because the IDF is outside Gaza, there is less of a chance for a Hamas attack against troops either sanctioned or rogue. 
  • Gazans are beginning to “revolt” against Hamas. People in Gaza are getting angry, not just against Israel but against Hamas.  A week ago, Palestinian sources reported that Hamas, most of them in the Shejaiya neighborhood, executed over 30 Palestinians . Hamas claimed that they were collaborators with Israel. Israel’s Channel 10 said that Hamas executed 20 residents of Shejaiya who had dared demonstrate against Hamas. Palestinian Arab sources said Tuesday that Gaza residents attacked Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri Saturday evening, near the Shifa Hospital. The residents blamed Hamas for the death of family members and for destruction of their homes. Armed Hamas terrorists from the Izzedine al-Kassam Brigades extricated Abu Zuri and arrested the angry residents.
  • Hamas is finally willing to talk to Egypt’s Al-Sisi.  Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi the president of Egypt purged everything connected to the Hamas’ parent, the Muslim Brotherhood out of the Egyptian govt. He also violently sent them underground throughout Egypt.  Al-Sisi hates Hamas and the feeling was mutual. When Hamas sent its negotiators to Egypt over the weekend it was recognition by the terrorists that the only way toward a ceasefire was through Egypt.
  •  Israel’s Relationships with the outside world.  Relations between Israel’s government and her western allies were deteriorating. Not only in the U.S. where the relationship has been awful since Obama became president, but also with Britain and France.  Israel realized these countries did not have the stomachs to maintain support of Israel despite the Hamas strategy of using its citizens as human shields. 
  • Hamas’ Relationships with the outside world. Turkey and Qatar were seething angry at Hamas for breaking last week’s ceasefire. They felt Hamas broke their word and made their negotiating partners lose face. These are the only two countries still supporting Hamas.

In the end it was like those old Paul Masson wine commercials Orson Welles used to make, the ones with the tag line “we will sell no wine before it’s time.” Perhaps the reason the other eight truces fell apart was neither side was ready. Hamas had too much support from the Gazans, and Israel could not shut down operations while the existential threat of the tunnels still existed. Hopefully now the time is ripe. 

Ed Morrissey has more on the ceasefire and why Hamas is losing support here at Hot Air. 

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