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Hamas Cease Fire Terms Could Ultimately Lead to "Normalcy"

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Cross-posted from Wallwritings

UPDATED on August 8

During their temporary cease fire, Israel and Hamas are negotiating in Cairo, Egypt, for an agreement to end Israel's third military assault since 2007, on Gaza.

Thursday night, Ha'aretz reported that the talks were "stalled."

Friday morning, when the 72-hour agreement ended, the New York Times reported both sides resumed cross-border firing.

These shots could be "warning shots" to signal a resumption of the conflict, or they may be part of the negotiations strategy on both sides.

The conflict is asymmetrical, suggesting that more exchanges of fire would be especially harmful to the Palestinians in Gaza.

The one-sided nature of the now 30-day conflict, is seen in the human toll of Israel's third "mowing the grass" project in Gaza. Thus far, Israel has killed 1,900 Palestinians, the great majority of whom were civilians, including 400 children.

To agree to an extended cease fire with no more firing from either side, Hamas, the ruling government of Gaza, has laid out its simple requests. There is nothing radical nor threatening about them.

Israeli analyst Gershon Baskin says of the Hamas demands for an extended cease fire, "When Palestinians look at the Hamas demands, they say, 'this is what we want, what all Palestinians want.'" (When firing resumed Friday, Baskin was interviewed by CNN.)

Ben Piven describes the Hamas proposal for a more permanent cease fire in America Al Jazeera:

"Hamas has focused its cease-fire terms on breaking the economic stranglehold imposed on Gaza by Israel with the help of Egypt, calling for an opening of border crossings and the expansion of areas where Palestinians may fish and where farmers may till their lands."

On its side of the negotiations table, Hamas has asked for a return to the "normalcy" of 2007, opening the borders and allowing Palestinians to fish further out into the sea, and tilling their farm lands.

The Times of Israel is live blogging developments, as seen from Israel's perspective.

If an extended cease fire agreement is reached, and Israel agrees to Hamas' simple requests, the firing from both sides would end, at least for a time. Is there any hope that Israel will agree to the Hamas requests?

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http://wallwritings.wordpress.com/

James Wall is currently a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced Jim's writings over (more...)
 

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