Aug. 9, 2018
Former Israeli defense officials have expressed skepticism that a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel is feasible.
Col. (res.) Dr. Shaul Shay, former deputy head of Israel’s National Security Council, noted that a long-term arrangement for Gaza would be possible only if two components are put into place. The first is a reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, and the second “is a period of calm between Hamas and the State of Israel.”
“In order to obtain a long-term period of calm, there needs to be major investment in the Gazan economy and infrastructure. That means bringing the Palestinian Authority (PA) to Gaza. Because this is a condition, it is very problematic….There have been countless attempts, led by Egypt, to reach Palestinian national reconciliation.” None of them have succeeded. “Abbas is dragging his feet because he has no interest in promoting this procedure, which would give Hamas gains, but not the PA.”
Dr. Col. (res.) Moshe Elad, one of the designers of the security coordination between the IDF and the PA, said any attempt to reach a full agreement was very likely to end in failure. Israel will want “full quiet” as part of a large package deal. But “Hamas has never agreed to full quiet. I don’t remember it ever agreeing to this.”
At best, if Hamas finds its back to the wall, it might agree to freeze the activities of its military wing, said Elad. “But they will never disband the military wing” as the PA has demanded. Doing so would symbolize “cancelling the resistance” from Hamas’ perspective, which would be unthinkable for them.
The writer is a research associate at the BESA Center.