(In collaboration with Termometro Politico)

 

The “ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas only lasted 6 hours, after 8 days of war during which many were killed. The proposal for a “ceasefire” was put forward by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, pressed by the Secretary of State of the United States of America.

The proposal was for a truce that should have started, in fact, by Tuesday morning, based on a few key points: delivery by Hamas of the rockets reserves and the dismantling of all the tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Israel; the release of 56 operatives men of Hamas, captured by Israel in the West Bank after the kidnapping of the three Jewish boys and freed in exchange for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit; the reopening of the Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt; the money to pay the salaries of 40,000 employees of Hamas in Gaza.

The Hamas’s response to the Egyptian proposal was clear: to the unilateral truce implemented by Israel from 9 a.m. of yesterday, Hamas responded with rocket attacks on Israeli territory, and one of them struck the city of Ashdod, in the south of the country. The refusal of Hamas has matured after a discussion among its leaders: “If the content of this proposal for truce is what it seems, it means surrender and we reject it without appeal. Our battle against the enemy will intensify”, were the words of the press release issued by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.

The Israeli reaction was not long in coming: they were immediately taken by the Israeli air raids. As stated by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, has not ruled out a possible intervention by land that would open other geopolitical scenarios with highly destabilizing consequences for an area that is already compromised by the crisis in Syria.

Meanwhile, Europe is trying to carve out a role in this conflict: more and more often in recent years the European intervention has been marginal, or at least flattened in the interests of stronger regional actors. The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini has flied to the Middle East and affirmed the need for an immediate “ceasefire” between the two parties, also after meeting her German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Obviously, it will be necessary to wait for a possible intervention by the United States of America to assess the possibility of other margins for a new deal between Israel and Hamas. Meanwhile, however, in this game of positions, the victims, especially among the civilian population, continue to rise. According to the statements made by the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, the numbers could get worse: “Hamas will pay the price for the decision to continue the escalation. […] Anyone who tries to harm Israel will be affected in turn. We were ready to resolve this conflict diplomatically, but Hamas left us no other choice”.

 

VITTORIO D’ALEO

Ph.D. candidate in Economic Sciences (University of Messina)