Israel vs Hamas: Towards a ceasefire?

Would you say that the current efforts of Ban Ki-moon and John Kerry regarding Gaza may lead to ceasefire or probably not, and why? Read few comments.

Paul SchamProfessor of Israel Studies, University of Maryland

I actually am somewhat optimistic now regarding a cease-fire in the next 2-3 days. You may have seen my article a week or so ago in which I said the only question is when the pain/advantage/internal-external pressure calculus indicates its time to stop – for both sides. I think we’re getting to that point. Though the casualty figures are totally asymmetrical, Israelis are starting to feel some pain, and they have also made their point, destroyed a good many tunnels, and Netanyahu has shown himself to be a reluctant hawk in Israeli eyes. Obama seems to be pushing more as well. Hamas has now bloodied the Israelis somewhat, gained some international sympathy, and may be able to get somewhat better terms than last week’s proposal gave them. So neither side has much to gain by continuing and assuming Hamas is treated with some respect this time, I think the cease-fire is coming fairly soon.

David RomanoAssociate Professor, Missouri State University

A ceasefire is the only way out of this, and it has to stop at some point, so I think their efforts will eventually succeed. The problem is that both the Israeli government and Hamas want to be able to show they came out with their objectives achieved — Israel wants to be able to show lots of destroyed tunnels, infrastructure and a stop to the rockets; while Hamas wants to be able to show Israeli casualties and an easing of Gaza’s embargo and conditions. The way it usually goes is as soon as enough of all these elements has happened — but before one’s own damage reaches dangerous proportions — they get more serious about agreeing to a ceasefire. Without the wider context of some negotiated peace, however, this will unfortunately happen again.


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