IDF vehicle along Gaza border fence 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Let’s be blunt: Last week’s cease-fire agreement is a terrible deal for Israel. Yet even so, the government wasn’t necessarily wrong to accept it. The crucial question is whether it caved because it got cold feet, or whether it sensibly sacrificed a lesser gain now for a greater one later. We’ll start with the deal’s flaws. First, it bars all Israeli operations against Gaza while allowing Gaza to continue attacking Israel. How so? The deal requires Israel to “stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air,” whereas Palestinians must only stop “all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel.” In other words, it doesn’t bar Palestinian attacks on Israel from Sinai, which have become increasingly frequent. But it does bar Israel from preempting such attacks: It can no longer target terrorists inside Gaza, having pledged to stop all attacks there, but it also can’t target them once they cross the border into Sinai, as that would violate its treaty with Egypt.