Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Recently, I have been pretty pessimistic about the 2014 Gaza war ending. It seemed obvious that both the Israelis and Hamas were ready for it to end, they just didn't know how to stop. Hamas insisted on the easing of the blockade of Gaza including the opening of the long-promised seaport and airport (how else could it present the conflict as a victory unless it had something to show for it?) Israel insisted upon total disarmament of Gaza (how else could it present all of the civilian casualties in Gaza as worth it unless it ended up with some lasting accomplishment?)

In my mind, neither side was likely to give the other what it wanted. Not only because the other's condition would be viewed as unacceptable on the merits but also because each was loath to give the other anything that resembled a "victory." And so for the past week or two, it looked to me like the conflict was over in all but the killing.

But it looks like they found a way to bridge the gap for an "indefinite ceasefire." It looks like Israel dropped the disarmament demand, and Hamas came away with some "easing" of the blockade without any mention of anything specific or the sea or airport. If this plays out like ceasefire arrangement that ended the 2012 conflict, I expect the "easing" will be a few symbolic gestures without much substance. Which means this agreement is probably just a prelude to the 2016 Gaza war. Assuming this ceasefire holds, of course.