Tuesday, June 17, 2008
israel, hamas declare truce in gaza
A ceasefire would aim to end rocket and mortar bomb attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip and Israeli raids in the territory. Israel has said it would continue preparing for possible large-scale military action should a truce fall apart.
Shortly before the Palestinian official said a six-month ceasefire had been reached, Israel launched air strikes that killed six militants in the Gaza Strip.
Israel stopped short of confirming the timing of what it said would be an informal arrangement to halt fighting. An Israeli official said Israeli intelligence chiefs were skeptical a truce could last.
this hopefully is the end of a year-long nightmare in gaza. normalizing relations is a process of many steps, but this is the first one. israel's steps toward a lasting peace with syria, which are ongoing, are certainly enhanced by finding a compromise in palestine -- but of course no outcome can be ruled out in the mideast.
what's more important is that neither side can definitively win, while both sides can continue to lose simultaneously.
the only way toward success for both is cooperative -- a point some would say has been obvious for a generation, and yet which the power elite on either side has been recalcitrant to admit.
i'd like to hope that the dynamics within both kadima/israel and hamas/palestine have opened a window for a real reconciliation in spite of the radical destructive elements that both must contend with. the odds of it, of course, are long. but there's no question, i think, that this is the first necessary step for both sides -- if successful, maybe they can take some more together.
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