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Is Bibi’s restraint on Gaza a sea change, or last act before war?

Israeli prime minister, for now, claims ​“no interest” in toppling Hamas.

“The leadership of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad announced Nov. 1 that they accept the understandings reached with Israel through Egyptian mediation: transitioning to nonviolent demonstrations along the fence while the siege of Gaza is eased,” reports Shlomi Eldar. “The joint announcement was made at the end of a meeting between the heads of the organizations (including Hamas' military arm) at Hamas political bureau chief Ismael Haniyeh's office in Gaza. The groups decided to give the plan a trial period of six months.”

Both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have shown unusual restraint in recent weeks in order to prevent escalation of the conflict with Israel, distancing themselves from rocket attacks on Beersheba in southern Israel on Oct. 17. Rasha Abou Jalal reports that Hamas officials told Al-Monitor that those attacks were not planned in the “resistance factions’ joint operation room,” which is “designed to ensure that any retaliatory Palestinian military action against Israel is done jointly among the factions [Hamas and the Islamic Jihad], to identify the opportune time to carry out such an action, and to determine its magnitude based on that of the Israeli attacks.”

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