The ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel brokered by the U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton on November 21, 2012, only fortified combatant’s positions for their next confrontation. The agreement appeared as just a breathing space to mull over for their next move based on events (geopolitical) happened in their eight-day long battle. The truce Hamas and Israel agreed on boils down to: Hamas should stop shelling Israel by their Iranian made missiles, and vice-versa, Israel should stop bombing Gaza Strip, and assassinations of Hamas leadership – leaving the core issue of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict still hanging in limbo, e.g., Border-crossing blockade, occupation, repatriation of refugees.
Combatants of the week-long battle are both winners.
For Israel, they were able to witness the capability and efficiency of their Iron Dome Defense System. The Iron Dome intercepted 421 rockets out of more than 1,500 which include the Fajr-5 of Iranian-supplied technology Palestinians had launched. That’s 80 percent of warheads targeted that posed a serious threat to Israel.
The truce restrained Benjamin Netanyahu to go on with his threat of a ground invasion of Gaza to which he could be viewed as the bad-boy in the eyes of the world, and could jeopardize his shoo- in election victory this coming January 2013.
For the Hamas, the truce implied their solidified control of Gaza, leaving the Fatah Movement of Mahmoud Abbas, seems out of the picture in the Palestinian conflict.
The Hamas also gained legitimacy because of the truce. Before, the US, vowed not to negotiate with Hamas as they are considered a terrorist organization, but thru Egypt, now, Hamas participated in the talks with the U.S.
The truce triggered regional shifts that buoyed Hamas stature. Potentially, Hamas would now have the leverage to a deal easing the economic blockade in Gaza.
Israel’s only ally in the region is the U.S., and it has to maintain a good relationship with Egypt and other democratically elected Islamist government. Mohammed Morsi, the Egyptian President, said that Israel cannot always depend on Egypt’s support for its attack on Gaza. Furthermore, Morsi proved that with the truce, he could negotiate with Israel without selling out Hamas’ resistance.
Turkey, with its downgraded ties with Israel because of the Gaza Flotilla affair (Israel stormed the Turkish ship in defiance of Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza which killed nine Turks) sympathized with the Palestinian cause. Qatar, Egypt and Tunisia, in the aftermath of the truce promised political and financial support to Hamas.
The ultimate loser of this 8-day battle, as usual, is the brutalized Gaza and the Gazan people. The UN reported that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020 because of war’s ravage. Gazans will be continuing as pawns of the Hamas leadership and of the Western peace processor disguised in proxy wars.