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Israel-Hamas ceasefire "political victory" for Palestinian factions

By Shaimaa Behery (Xinhua)

13:09, November 22, 2012

CAIRO, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- The ceasefire deal announced Wednesday between Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement is a "political victory" for Palestinian factions, while the conflict played the role of a "revealer" for Israel's Middle East policy, Egyptian analysts said.

During a joint press conference with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced that the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza militant groups takes effect at 9:00 p.m. local time (1900 GMT).

"The ceasefire deal represents a political victory for the Gazan factions, as Israel couldn't meet its threat target, like destroying Gaza's infrastructure, because of the regional and international pressure." said Akram Houssam, a political expert with the Cairo-based Middle East Center for Political and Strategic Studies.

"The victory in this conflict can't be viewed from the military perspective, as there is no military parity between Israel and Gaza, but it can be seen politically," he said.

The ceasefire agreement was brokered by Egypt, which obtained some guarantees from the deal parties to ensure their commitment.

According to Houssam, Egypt's role in brokering the truce deal uncovered a luminous score in the foreign policy of the new Egyptian regime.

On the guarantees predicted to be tackled on the negotiating table, he said the Israeli side may ask Hamas to deliver some people who committed military and terror operations.

While the whole world hailed Egypt for its part in the negotiations, Houssam believed that there were some catalysts that helped Egypt's endeavors achieve the success.

"There are very important factors leading to the truce, such as the Israeli public opinions that were pushing the Israeli leaders to stop the war because of the terrific atmosphere, and the military situation of Hamas that seemed to be more developed than in the year of 2008," he said, adding that since the 1970s, Hamas has never had rockets capable of reaching Jerusalem.

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