5 Obstacles Preventing a Ceasefire Agreement in Gaza Featured

By Gamal Khattab February 14, 2024 2057


 The Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, in an article, discussed why there hasn't been a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel in Gaza. It says that there are five big obstacles that are getting in the way.

The Negotiations

First things first, even though the Israeli Prime Minister called the negotiations "illusory," they are still happening. The talks are going on through electronic means with the help of mediators from Egypt, the United States, and Qatar. It's been more than four months since the war started, and Israel hasn't fully achieved its goals yet.

The Proposed Agreement

Now, there's this agreement that was prepared in Paris. It suggests a humanitarian truce in three stages. The first stage would last for three weeks, and in total, the truce would go on for 135 days. As part of the deal, 132 Israeli prisoners would be released in exchange for the freedom of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

The Five Obstacles

  1. The Number of Prisoners

The Israeli Cabinet thinks that Hamas is asking for too many prisoners to be released. They believe that the demand for 1,500 prisoners is too much.

  1. Final Ceasefire

Hamas wants these truces to lead to a final ceasefire. But Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, doesn't want that. He wants the freedom to attack again if he thinks it's necessary. The mediators have told Hamas that once the truces end, it will be hard for Israel to go back to war because of international pressure.

  1. Movement and Withdrawal

Hamas wants the Israeli army to allow free movement within Gaza and the return of 1.5 million people to the north, which was heavily damaged. They also want the Israeli occupation to completely leave the entire Strip. But the Israeli government only wants to withdraw its army from the main cities.

  1. Temple Mount

Hamas wants Israel to stop settlers and occupation forces from entering the "Temple Mount" in Jerusalem. This is important because it means preventing them from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque. But Israel has allowed these raids since 2003.

  1. Gaza Borders and Aid

Hamas wants all the borders of Gaza to be open for humanitarian aid to enter before they start rebuilding. This could take at least three years. On the other hand, Israel wants to control what enters Gaza to make sure no weapons come in. They also want to monitor the tunnels between the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza with the help of Egypt.

Erez Crossing

There's this border crossing called Erez between Israel and Gaza. It might reopen temporarily, but the Palestinian workers won't be able to go back to work there.

Netanyahu's Preference

The writer of the article mentioned that Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, would rather launch a big attack on Rafah and win completely instead of releasing the hostages. Most of his government agrees with him, but public opinion is different. A recent poll showed that 51% of Israelis prioritize rescuing the hostages, while only 36% prefer eliminating Hamas.

The Ground Attack

Netanyahu hasn't said when the ground attack on Rafah should start. But Hamas has made it clear that any large-scale military aggression would immediately end the negotiations.

Source: El Confidencial