A week after Operation Pillar of Defense ended, an arrangement between Israel
and Hamas is beginning to taking shape.
With the Egyptians acting as
intermediaries, the setup has seen all terror factions in Gaza, without
exception, committing themselves to the cease-fire, from the ruling Hamas regime
to Islamic Jihad (which is as well-armed as Hamas), down to the smaller Popular
Resistance Committees and the al- Qaida-inspired jihadi groups.
new terms, the IDF will patrol its side of the border with Gaza, and carry out
vital border security missions free from all attacks.
will not activate bomb-filled tunnels, set off explosives on the border or fire
guided missiles and mortars at IDF forces. This ensures that the IDF can secure
the hazardous frontier free from hostile fire. It is as important a condition
for the cease-fire as the cessation of terrorist rocket fire on the
The IDF, for its part, has stiffened its rules of
It will not freely order an air strike unless it is
absolutely certain that a rocket will be fired at Israel in the immediate
Additionally, Gazan farmers will be allowed to work their fields
up to a hundred meters from the border. In the past, the IDF forbade Gazans from
approaching the 300-meter zone near the border. This easing of conditions only
applies to unarmed civilians.
No gunmen, including Hamas police, can
approach the fence under any circumstances.
In case of violent
disturbances, IDF soldiers will call out warnings, and if rioters continue to
try to cross or damage the fence, soldiers will open fire at the rioters’
IDF officials believe that the arrangement is far from being sealed
in cement, but note that it is in Hamas’s self-interest to enforce it. The
entire setup is predicated on the cessation of all terrorist activity from the
Gaza Strip. However, Hamas will seek to continue to rely on its extensive
network of smuggling tunnels to bring in arms and commercial goods.
will be up to the governments in Jerusalem and Cairo to try and hammer out an
effective arrangement on Hamas’s rearmament efforts.
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