Gaza ceasefire: Analysis of Shanghai International Studies University

Israeli air strike.Gaza.strip.PillarofDefense.jpg

Gaza Strip might come to a deadlock despite ceasefire

November 24, 2012

A senior official at Egyptian security sector announced on Nov. 21 that all armed groups of Israel and Palestine including Hamas have reached a ceasefire agreement.

Why did both sides give a heavy blow to each other?

Both Israel and Palestine had been maintaining a restrained attitude since Israel launched the “Operation Cast Lead” and hit Hamas heavily, but there are profound reasons for this war.

In addition to taking revenge on the rocket attacks of Hamas, Israel is about to hold parliamentary election in early 2013, so Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hopes to win re-election by taking tough measures. Hamas also hopes to increase its influence in Palestine by war.

The current situation in the Middle East is more conducive to Palestine, said Hua Liming, special research fellow of China Institute of International Studies.

The former Egyptian administration friendly to Israel has collapsed and the old rival Iran takes the opportunity to grow strong and insubordinate, so Israel is isolated and marginalized.

“For that reason, Israel falling into the ‘security dilemma’ is eager to accentuate its status through the use of force,” said Zhu Weilie, honorary director of the Middle East Studies Institute under Shanghai International Studies University.

Hamas also hopes to prove its leading role in Arab resistance forces with actions, thereby strengthening its influence in Palestine.

Why do they choose to stop?

Under the current serious situation, it is necessary for both sides to stop promptly.

In spite of heavy losses in the Pillar of Defense, Hamas won a lot politically, capturing the world attention and attracting enormous public and Arabian support. A protracted fighting would overstretch its arms.

As for Israel, it has punished Hamas with violent military assaults, as could be used as an acceptable response to the country. Expansion of the war or waging of ground warfare would earn greater media rebukes. Therefore, Israel is willing to end “the Pillar of Defense” honorably.

However, the ceasefire is likely to be only temporary. Anything could happen to resume the fighting. Thus, some analysts predicted that in the future Gaza might be locked in a “hot stalemate” of “no war and no peace.”

(People's Daily Online - Source: Jiefang Daily)


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