NewsHour to look at Gaza cease-fire

Posted by John Kanelis on


The shooting has stopped in Gaza. That development, all by itself, ought to be reason to cheeer.

Israel and Hamas -- the infamous terrorist organization -- have been exchanging artillery fire for weeks. Hundreds of people have died. The two sides this week called a halt to the shooting and the silence has produced a glimmer of hope that there might be an opening toward a peace agreement.

What has to happen next?

The Palestinians want the Israelis to lift the economic embargo it has placed on Gaza. They want to improve living conditions in the region that's essentially controlled by Hamas.

The Israelis, meanwhile, want Hamas to disarm itself. They want the terrorists to stop tunneling into Israel, giving commandos easier access to the neighborhoods they've been shelling. They also want Hamas to renounce its intention to destroy Israel.

The PBS NewsHour has been covering this story from every angle imaginable. It will do so until there's no more story to report.

However, given the history between Israel and the Palestinians, it's a good bet that the day the story disappears isn't on the horizon.

The two sides are going to re-start talks in Egypt sometime soon. Indeed, the Egyptians have been important brokers in the cease-fire that just went into place.

The two sides appear worn out. Israel can claim victory in its effort to degrade Hamas's ability to shell Israeli neighborhoods; Hamas can declare that it has brought Palestinians' living conditions to light around the world, which was its goal all along when it started firing rockets into Israel.

I'll settle for the "worn out" theory of why the shooting and shelling have stopped.

It's now time to start talking. PBS NewsHour will keep us informed of the progress of those talks.






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