News Analysis: Prospect of long-term truce between Israel, Hamas grows in 2020: analysts

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-03 04:52:54|Editor: yan
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by Saud Abu Ramadan

GAZA, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- It has become clear that there are chances of securing a long-term truce in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas in 2020, according to political analysts.

Their perception was based on a decision by Hamas, ruler of Gaza, a few days ago to halt the weekly protests known as the Great March of Return, which had been organized in the eastern Gaza Strip close to the border with Israel since March 2018.

Freezing the rallies during the first three months until March 30 "was clear evidence that the indirect talks on reaching calm in Gaza between Hamas and Israel had achieved significant progress," according to the experts.

Meanwhile, the Israeli cabinet convened twice this week to debate a possible truce with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Talal Oukal, a Gaza-based political analyst, said allowing a high-ranking Hamas delegation, headed by the group's chief Ismail Haniyeh, to visit Cairo "was an indication that we are heading toward calm understandings that are broader than the previous ones."

Israel has been imposing a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas routed the security forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and seized control of the coastal enclave in the summer of 2007.

Israel also waged three large-scale military offensives on the Gaza Strip, the largest of which lasted 50 days in the summer of 2014, leaving great damage to houses and infrastructures in the enclave.

"Hamas doesn't seek a political agreement with Israel, but it seeks to deepen the calm understandings which were brokered by Egypt and the United Nations last year," said Hassan Abdo, another Gaza-based political analyst who is close to Hamas.

"These understandings will guarantee a calm on the borders with the Gaza Strip, while the hard-living humanitarian situation caused by the Israeli siege will be eased," he added.

Mohammad Hijazi, a political analyst from Gaza who is close to the Palestinian Authority, warned that the goals of a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel "are based on the isolation of Gaza from the West Bank."

A long-term truce to be reached with Hamas "will certainly serve Israel's strategic goals of isolating the Gaza Strip from the entire Palestinian territories," Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye had said.

"The truce agreement will get the 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip out of the demographic risks that threaten Israel's presence in the future," Hijazi explained.