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The road to peace

Feb 29,2024 - Last updated at Feb 29,2024

The recent meetings held in Paris to negotiate a new truce between Israel and Hamas have generated a great state of ambiguity and conflicting reports. While Israel has expressed optimism and exaggerated the progress made during the negotiations, Hamas has denied any substantial advancements. This stark contrast raises questions about the motives behind Israel's exaggeration. Is it an attempt to implicate Hamas or a strategic move orchestrated by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

The Israeli state of confusion and overstatement can be attributed to the deep divisions within its political and military institutions. On one hand, there are those who support continuing the war on Gaza until all goals are achieved. On the other hand, there are opponents who advocate for a truce with Hamas, seeking to heal the wounds and disappointments incurred by the Israeli forces during the prolonged conflict. This internal discord manifests in conflicting statements and exaggerated claims regarding the outcomes of the Paris meetings.

The exaggerated Israeli optimism regarding the Paris meetings could serve multiple purposes. Firstly, it may be an attempt to implicate Hamas as obstructionist or uncooperative, thereby shifting the blame for the lack of progress onto the Palestinian faction. By creating an exaggerated narrative of progress, Israel can project an image of willingness to negotiate while painting Hamas as the obstacle to a truce. Secondly, the exaggeration could be a strategic move by prime minister Netanyahu to bolster his political standing. By creating an atmosphere of optimism and progress, Netanyahu can present himself as a strong leader capable of securing a favourable agreement. This tactic aims to divert attention from domestic challenges and criticism his government faces, potentially boosting his popularity among the Israeli public.

Reports suggest that the Paris meetings produced a "Document of Principles" outlining potential agreements between Israel and Hamas. The key points covered in the negotiations include the exchange mechanism, the list of prisoners, the duration of the truce and humanitarian aid to Gaza. These points reflect areas of potential agreement, but they do not indicate that a final deal has been reached.

The Israeli occupation, having faced criticism on both the media and military fronts, finds itself in a challenging position. The global community, particularly international and Western public opinion, has condemned their actions as genocidal. The tide is turning against them, and their attempts to control the narrative have faltered. Moreover, they face internal pressures from the north and south, with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians preparing for resistance. Their economy is reeling, and the divisions within Israeli society have become visible on the streets of Tel Aviv. Continuing the war only risks further destabilisation and internal strife.

Hamas leaders have expressed skepticism about the outcomes of the Paris meetings and emphasised the need to consider the interests and requirements of the Palestinian people. They assert that the focus should be on ending starvation, displacement and the ongoing targeting of institutions and homes. Hamas's reluctance to endorse the negotiations may stem from the lack of concrete progress on these critical issues.

A crucial condition for calm lies in the commitment to a ceasefire and a pledge to refrain from aggression under any circumstances. Both parties must recognise the futility of perpetuating violence and the urgent need for peaceful coexistence. By embracing a ceasefire, the Israeli occupation can demonstrate its willingness to engage in constructive dialogue and work towards a sustainable resolution. To foster an atmosphere of trust and pave the way for calm, the Israeli occupation must commit to a complete withdrawal from all areas of the Gaza Strip. This includes relinquishing control over border areas that they had previously intended to isolate. Such a withdrawal would signify a genuine desire for peace and the recognition of Palestinian sovereignty.

One of the core demands of the Palestinian people is the return of those displaced by the conflict to their places of residence. Specifically, the return of individuals to the north of the Gaza Strip is of utmost importance. By addressing this issue, the Israeli occupation can take a significant step towards healing the wounds of displacement and fostering a sense of justice and stability for the affected communities.

The main obstacle in reaching a comprehensive agreement between Israel and Hamas remains the cessation of hostilities. While Hamas has reportedly agreed to give up its demand for a permanent ceasefire, it insists on holding talks on this matter at a later stage. Israel, on the other hand, is reluctant to commit to ending the war. This fundamental disagreement poses a significant challenge to reaching a lasting resolution.

The Paris Summit holds significant promise as a platform to address these conditions for calm. By securing a final ceasefire, facilitating a prisoner exchange, ensuring a complete Israeli withdrawal, and enabling the return of Gazans to their cities and towns, this summit can lay the foundation for a just and lasting peace. Both parties must approach the negotiations with a genuine commitment to reconciliation and a willingness to overcome the hurdles that lie ahead.

The Israeli exaggeration of the results of the Paris meetings appears to serve strategic motives rather than reflecting substantial progress in the negotiations. It could be an attempt to implicate Hamas as the obstructionist party, shifting blame away from Israel. Alternatively, it may be a calculated move by prime minister Netanyahu to boost his political standing. Regardless of the reasons behind the exaggeration, the focus should remain on achieving a comprehensive truce that addresses the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and ensures stability in the region. The international community should continue to support efforts for a just and lasting resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The conditions for resistance to calm provide a path towards peace in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The commitment to a ceasefire, a complete Israeli withdrawal and the return of displaced people are crucial steps in achieving reconciliation. The Israeli occupation must recognise the changing dynamics and the potential for peaceful resistance, embracing a future that prioritises dialogue, justice and coexistence. The Paris Summit offers an opportunity to set in motion a process that can lead to a just and lasting resolution. It is time to seize this chance for peace and work towards a future where both Palestinians and Israelis can live in harmony and security

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