Gaza Ceasefire

It looks like when it comes to negotiating with Hamas, the American political discourse is the proverbial “last one to know.” In the aftermath of yesterday’s revelation that France has conducted backchannel discussions with the group’s leadership comes word confirming the open secret of Egypt’s mediation of a Gaza ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The negotiations have been carefully orchestrated to conform to the applicable policies of non-engagement, down to the fact that the agreement will not even be officially announced. Instead, it will “unfold gradually,” and be evaluated “. . .on the basis of results on the ground.” None of which kept Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon from owning up to the fact that Israel “. . .is holding talks directly with the Palestinian movement Hamas, despite a government decision forbidding such moves.”

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