After an eventful and volatile summer, Israel and Palestine finally reached a ceasefire in the last week of August. While Hamas claimed victory, urging Palestinians to dance in the streets, the 2014 ceasefire is almost identical to the deal reached during the last Gaza war in 2012. Both deals call for:
- An end to hostilities on both sides
- Opening of pathways across the border for goods and people, depending upon security
- Egypt to monitor and follow up if either side take action against the other
While everyone is hoping that the deal sticks this time, something in the international air has changed. U.S.-Israel relations, typically a strong strategic partnership, face some difficult challenges ahead.
The collapse of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace talks left bitter feelings throughout the administration about the reality of a two-state solution even before the war. Obama’s withholding of the Hellfire missiles, American Airline’s 2 day suspension of flights to Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, and Israel’s takeover of 1,000 acres of West Bank lands have added even more strain to a weathered relationship. Not to mention the staggering numbers of dead Palestinians and the upcoming U.N.investigation into Israel’s military tactics in Gaza.
An end to the fighting is definitely welcome in the international community, but the next step has to be taken before the cycle repeats itself.