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Cease fire or continue conflicts?

(People's Daily Online)

08:05, November 21, 2012

The Israeli operation "Pillar of Defense" has not stopped until now.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Nov. 18 that Israel would continue to launch military operations in the Gaza Strip and further expand the scale until Hamas paid a high price for attacks on Israeli people.

A Hamas official said that Hamas leaders have put forward the prerequisite of reaching a ceasefire agreement with Israel. Hamas requires Israel to sign a written treaty under the supervision of the international community. The precondition is that Israel lifts the blockade on the Gaza Strip which has been enforced since 2007, no longer imposes obstacles on the development of Gaza and completely terminates the assassination of Hamas leaders.

Analysts believe that both Hamas and Israel are facing a choice of ceasing fire or continuing conflicts. Whether truce is within reach or not depends on whether both sides can come to terms and their assessment on whether their political and security goals have been achieved.

Different from the past, Hamas believes that it has gained the upper hand during the conflict, shooting down Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles with surface-to-air missiles and long-range missiles and threatening Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. So Hamas provides harsh ceasefire conditions which are difficult for Israel to accept.

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