There is not much of a chance that the cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians will be upheld. The reason is that the deterioration in the security situation between the sides is only one aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian political imbroglio that has been developing recently.
Ten months have elapsed since the dramatic victory of Hamas in the elections of the Palestinian parliament, in the wake of which Ismail Haniyeh’s government was set up. The entire world, with the exception of Iran and Syria, rejected it. The United States and Europe, together with almost all the Arab countries, and of course Israel, boycotted it. They refused to transfer money to it or to meet its representatives. The distress in the territories and in particular in the Gaza Strip grew worse and, as the security situation declined, more dead and wounded were counted daily in Gaza and the West Bank.
What has been the result? Instead of the Hamas government collapsing, the movement’s strongman and the head of its political bureau, Khaled Meshal, appeared at the end of the week at a news conference in Cairo and issued an ultimatum to the international community: You have six months to organize an Israeli withdrawal from the territories and to end the conflict, otherwise a third intifada will break out and the Palestinian Authority (PA) will collapse.