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Intel: Why Israel and Hamas aren’t itching for a fight

A view shows the remains of Hamas's TV station building that was destroyed by Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City November 13, 2018. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem - RC17CE86FB10

Israeli-Palestinian fighting that broke out following a botched Israeli army operation in the Gaza Strip has quickly subsided, with Palestinian factions agreeing to a cease-fire and a return to talks.

Why it matters: The escalating violence risked wrecking weeks of delicate diplomacy between Israel and Hamas as well as regional powers such as Egypt and Qatar aimed at lowering tensions in the Gaza Strip. With Israel’s blessing, Doha has agreed to a $15 million cash infusion to help stabilize Gaza’s depressed economy — and perhaps buy some quiet ahead of Israeli elections next year. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also hopes to further drive a wedge between the Islamist Hamas, which runs Gaza, and Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah in the West Bank ahead of the release of a US-led peace proposal that is widely expected to favor Israel.

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