As Israel and Palestinian faction Hamas agreed to a new three-day ceasefire, efforts are continuing in Cairo for a longer-term deal. Efforts that are hampered by Israel’s latest demand that they will not negotiate while under fire from Hamas.
That in short is the main reason why the two sides had been unable to come to an agreement thus far. Hamas has been doing far better against the Israelis than anyone thought they would and the Israeli government is trying to find ways and means to avoid giving Hamas a victory.
Since Israel launched "Operation Protective Edge" on 8 July, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, but most of them have been civilians. In contrast, sixty-seven people have died on the Israeli side, but only 3 of whom were civilians.
If you just look at the numbers, you can clearly see that the IDF is winning the battle. However if you take into account that Hamas is heavily outmanned, outspent and outgunned by the Israelis, it’s kind of surprising they have done as well as they had. Not only that, with their tunnels, Hamas had proved that they have the capabilities to strike at Israeli military targets directly.
That is why the Arab world who initially treated the conflict with a collective shrug is now suddenly trying to find a solution for a ceasefire. Hamas’ capabilities in the field are embarrassing them and the longer it goes, the worse it is for them. And what if Hamas?
Hamas would benefit the most from a ceasefire. They have demonstrated their military capabilities to the world and their political aim of freely the Israeli siege have the full backing of the Palestinian people. The crazy thing about the whole affair is that the good field result of Hamas is probably what’s stopping them from getting what they want; the lifting of the Israeli siege.
That is why the fighting hasn’t stopped and negotiations haven’t gotten anywhere. All sides are so focused on not losing that Palestinian lives lost in the fighting are a secondary concern.