Israel renewed airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, just six-hours after agreeing to an Egyptian-proposed truce (CNN). Hamas militants continued to fire dozens of rockets into Israel during the faltering cease-fire, the Israeli military said. While Hamas' armed wing reportedly rejected the agreement, a top official from the militant group who was in Cairo said there was no final decision on the proposal (Reuters). Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that Israel would intensify military operations on the Palestinian enclave in response to a Hamas rejection of the truce.
"Israel is now seeking to separate the two parts of Palestine. Not into two halves, with a safe passage between them, but into two separate entities. West Palestine in Gaza; East Palestine in the West Bank. Three states for two peoples. By this logic, a strong Hamas government in Gaza is essential to Israel," writes Amir Oren in Haaretz.
"The reconciliation agreement might also hold the key to squaring the ceasefire circle. Though opposed by Israel, the deal, if implemented, offers the best chance of alleviating Gaza's misery and lessening Hamas's incentives to fight. The Islamist movement long resisted admitting any PA presence, but now that it has renounced governance, a door has been opened, and with it, an opportunity to redesign the peace process and advance the well-being of Gaza's 1.7 million residents," writes the International Crisis Group.
"Netanyahu's admission that he doesn't see a path to a truly independent Palestinian state serves no purpose except to convince that diminishing number of Palestinians who believe that the two-state solution is the best solution that they have no partner for compromise. As such, Netanyahu's comments are the rhetorical equivalent of settlement expansion in the West Bank," writes Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic.
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