For some time, now, the IDF has refrained from anything massive with respect to Gaza, in light of efforts to bring about an agreement.

Egypt seems to be doing the hard work, with an involvement of a UN representative, Qatar, the European Union, and perhaps Turkey.

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Gazans have come close to, if they have not actually agreed to the terms.


We don’t know all the details, but they include a cease fire, with Israeli commitments to keeping its border open for transfers, perhaps a sea port and air port with the latter to be put on Egyptian land in the Sinai, along with efforts at improving the lives of Gazans. It’s supposed to last for five years.

A problematic part of the deal concerns the Palestinians of the West Bank.

Presumably they are still the essence of whatever is Palestine.

They’re to reach accords with the Palestinians of Gaza, concerned with who has what by way of weapons and responsibilities, and the transfer of funds from the West Bank.

That part of the deal doesn’t seem close to resolution.  The West Bank leadership, under Mahmoud Abbas, can’t seem to get to a deal with Hamas.

There’s also been a significant uptick in violence between Israel and Hamas. There was an evening of attacks from both sides, with Israeli injuries and Gazan deaths.

Responses from southern politicians have been demanding a more fierce Israeli response, and from national leaders a reminder of the long history, and the disinclination to send in the ground troops.

Israel’s government sat on the prospects.

There wasn't a great decision.

Egyptians had arranged another cease fire.

That's pretty much where we are.

There have been five cease fires since late May, each of them violated

We’ve been reluctant to use ground troops, yet again.

While some urge the conquest of Gaza, few are certain what to do with it once in control.

Yet we don’t want to expose people living near Gaza to frequent attacks.

Turkey is somewhere in the area, as well as Iran and Hezbollah, plus the government of Bashar al-Assad. Today they may all be less pressing than Gazans. To our south is the capacity to annoy, frequently employed.

Currently we’re on the edge of an agreement, sort of.

Israel will be opening its gate to Gaza, and expanding the area where Gazan fishermen are allowed to work. Not clear is the role that the Palestinians of the West Bank will play in Gaza.

It’s also not clear what’ll happen, if anything, with respect to the Nationalities Law, or the enactment that discriminates against single sex couples with respect to their access to surrogate mothers in Israel. And there hasn’t been progress in expanding the section of the Western Wall meant for non-Orthodox rituals.

Those issues continue to cause problems here and abroad, with American Jews wondering about their support of a country that has moved away from what they prefer.

However, the politics of Israel appears stable, with Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox in crucial positions along with a right of center Likud likely to keep things pretty much as they are. ..

There remain the issues associated with Donald Trump.

Here he is a hero for much of the population, with his movement of the Embassy to Jerusalem, and comments against UNRWA. In the US, he and his aides are up to their kishkes with comments and allegations. Most Israelis are a world away from his domestic problems. It’s not that we can’t be bothered. Most aren’t interested. We’ll wait and see the results of the mid-term elections. And pending other developments, most likely the presidential contest of 2020.

Meanwhile, there are unhappy campers here. We’re wondering about the police and prosecutors, and why they are taking so long on the cases of the Prime Minister. News is that there’ll be no indictments before sometime in 2019, most likely after an election.

But as things stand in north and south, they seem all right as far as the bulk of voters is concerned. Tensions with Iran in Syria seem contained there. In the south, we’re relying on the Egyptians to keep the Gazans reasonable, at least most of the time. We’re waiting for the next move of Mahmoud Abbas, and/or whatever comes after him. Security forces are on alert, and active against restive Palestinians. But most of the West Bankers seem content with their access to work in Israel, and the general level of prosperity associated with it. Gazans would like the same, but we’ll have to see about that.

Over all, things are not great, but not intolerable. And for most of us, that ain’t bad.

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