OPINIONS

Fri 10 Nov 2023 9:52 am - Jerusalem Time

The truces also facilitate the complete emptying of northern Gaza

By Ali Hamada

The daily humanitarian truces in the northern Gaza Strip announced by the White House through spokesman Admiral John Kirby for four hours a day coincide with the intense diplomatic movement taking place at more than one level in the region. 


Calls have multiplied from all sides for Israel to declare humanitarian truces at the very least, and a comprehensive ceasefire at the most. The level of international pressure on the United States has increased to urge it to force Israel to accept a humanitarian truce in the northern Gaza Strip, where tens of thousands of citizens still reside. Of course, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly issued a position stating: “The fighting continues and there will be no ceasefire without the release of the kidnappers.” Strangely, Kirby explained the content of the agreement with Israel on humanitarian truces, saying: “Israel informed us that there will be no military operations during periods of ceasefire.”


 

In any case, we must wait for implementation, if it takes place, in order to judge the position of the White House, which appears to be imposing a fait accompli on Israel, even without consulting it. Otherwise, what does it mean for Netanyahu’s office to rush to refuse to stop the fighting? Unless it is part of a functional distribution between the two parties in order to improve the terms of agreement on humanitarian truces that could be accompanied by the release of a number of American and non-Israeli hostages as a first stage.

 

Perhaps it is important to point out the very important meeting that was held in Doha at the invitation of the Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, and included both the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, and the head of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, David Barnea. 


The goal of the meeting is to search for ways to reach a deal that would lead to Hamas and the other factions releasing the largest number of hostages, in exchange for a truce that could last for three days or more, according to what the US President said in a statement yesterday. In addition to the above, the crossings were opened to allow aid to enter more widely. Israel knows that the release of hostages will remain an unresolved issue for a long time due to the large number of them.

 

The Israelis believe that the truces must be extracted from them with great difficulty, and at a great price: the release of the largest number of hostages. But the issue is more complex than that, and the hostage issue may drag on for months and perhaps several years. What is most important of all is that the truces may ultimately lead to emptying the entire northern part of the Gaza Strip of civilians, and this may be preceded by Tel Aviv’s success in closing the last hospitals that are still operating in Gaza City. 


Emptying the northern Gaza Strip of its entire population may pave the way for a long-term street war between Israeli forces and Palestinian factions, and make it easier for the Israelis to carry out a systematic demolition of the city, such that after weeks it will become rubble. Rebuilding will take many years.

 

Therefore, it is all important to know that the truces, which constitute an opportunity for the attackers to release hostages, and an opportunity for the defenders to catch their breath and reorganize their ranks, will undoubtedly be a step towards the deportation of the remaining civilians in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. It is a delicate equation and the margins for maneuver in it are narrow for everyone.

 source: Annahar Al-araby  

 


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The truces also facilitate the complete emptying of northern Gaza