Skip to main content

How Israel avoided another escalation with Hamas

Israel and Hamas agreed, yet again, to hold fire; yet the misery of Gaza residents will continue as long as the blockade continues.
A Palestinian worker checks a truck loaded with cement bags after entering the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing September 22, 2013. Israel began allowing construction material for private projects into the Gaza Strip on Sunday for the first time in six years, in response to a request from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, an Israeli defence official said.  REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS CONSTRUCTION REAL ESTATE) - RTX13UHI
Read in 

Another violent clash between Israel and Gaza was averted at the last minute on May 4. A statement issued by senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk said understandings were reached between the sides through Egyptian mediation about a cease-fire on the Israel-Gaza border. According to the statement, Hamas pledged to prevent all rocket launches at Israel by various Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, whereas Israel promised to stop its airstrikes on the Strip and withdraw the military forces that had begun operating inside Gaza. As of the morning of May 5, Israel had not responded to Abu Marzouk’s statement.

All of Israel’s past military operations in Gaza started out this way: a limited exchange of blows, a smattering of mortar shells from Gaza and Israeli air strikes on Gaza — all snowballing into another round of vicious violence with thousands of dead and wounded.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.