Hamas & Israel: truce or another hot summer?
The author explains that all indications on the ground, despite the recent escalation in the Gaza Strip, suggest that Hamas and Israel are heading in the direction of reaching a long-term truce agreement.
By Dr. Adnan Abuamer, specialist in Israeli Affairs, political analyst, & Professor at Al Ommah University, Gaza [Photo: Kia Ora Gaza]
The ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, reached in August 2014 after 50-day war, has maintained a relative calm. No major breaches were recorded by both sides, except for exchanging fire between Israel and Salafi groups in Gaza. Despite this, Hamas’ military wing is taking unprecedented steps in the confrontation with Israel, since the beginning of 2015.
Al-Qassam Brigades have implemented extensive missile tests and published photos of training sites adjacent to the fence separating the Gaza Strip and Israel. In May, Hamas allowed hundreds of Palestinians to watch towns and villages near the border. Issam Idwan, the Head of a Hamas-affiliated refugee group stressed that this step aims to “to materialize the Palestinian dream of returning to the occupied territories.”
Hamas has also sent bulldozers and trucks to pave a road 250 meters away from Israel.
“Al-Qassam [Brigades’] latest movements aim at collecting intelligence information on the Israeli army locations beyond Gaza’s border and to increase Hamas fighters’ audacity to confront [Israel]. This is not to mention facilitating al-Qassam [Brigades’] patrols on the border alongside Israel’s patrols and to establish electronic military barracks to monitor the border,” an official on condition of anonymity said.
According to Hamas clandestine discussions, the author was informed about, “Al-Qassam [Brigades’] moves aim at putting an end to Israel’s security restrictions on eastern Gaza. Hamas’ military wing seeks to keep the Israeli army at 300 meters [0.2 miles] away from the border in the east, to protect farmers on their lands, facilitate tunneling and protect drill sites to the nearest point of the border to save time and effort.”
The situation shows that Hamas is not interested in a new escalation with Israel, but rather going in the direction of inking a possible truce, despite some breaches the Gaza Strip experienced in June. Hamas didn’t respond to these attacks to show its interest of reaching a truce and maintaining calm.
 The article was first translated into English by Al-Monitor Website. Full article is available at http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/06/palestine-gaza-israel-border-pave-road-hamas-salafist-truce.html#ixzz3cvGdKIwG
Article supplied by the Centre for Political & Developmental Studies (CPDS), Gaza City.