Hamas was forced to accept a ceasefire with Israel without securing any of its core demands – an end to import restrictions on the Gaza Strip, salaries for Hamas operatives, the release of captured terrorists, the construction of a sea port, and so on – despite the group having long insisted that it would not cease fighting until those conditions were met, according to details of the deal officially revealed on Wednesday.
Rumors on Tuesday had already seemed to indicate as much, and soon afterward Israeli political correspondent Haviv Rettig Gur was able to print that quite literally “all reports of the ceasefire’s stipulations” indicated that Hamas had not received its demands.
Veteran Israeli military analyst Yossi Melman bluntly assessed that “Hamas was forced to accept Egyptian and Israeli dictates”:
The cease-fire is unlimited in time and Hamas was not promised anything except that which had been offered at the start of the military campaign.
Full of itself and arrogant, it miscalculated. If Hamas had not rejected the offers, Israel would not have launched a ground incursion. Hamas’s 32 attacking tunnels would not have been destroyed. Its rockets and mortar shells wouldn’t be reduced to a residual arsenal of 20 percent – from 10,000 to approximately 2,000.
And most importantly, parts of Gaza wouldn’t have been destroyed.
Melman also suggested that Gazans, frustrated with the destruction triggered by Hamas’s repeated gambits, may begin to turn on representatives of the group. The predictions of growing anger may prove tenable.
A Hamas negotiator involved in the ceasefire talks reportedly had both of his legs broken over what seems to have been an internal dispute regarding the truce terms, a development that Israeli analyst Ehud Ya’ari contextualized by noting – per the Times of Israel – that the operation dealt a heavy blow to the terror group:
Channel 2 analyst Ehud Ya’ari says that despite Haniyeh’s confident remarks, Operation Protective Edge set back Hamas’s military infrastructure by 5-10 years.
Other reports indicated that Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri was beaten when he tried to give a speech at Shifa Hospital, as women shouted at him that he was hiding in the building while their sons had been killed.
[Photo: PBS Newshour / YouTube]