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Netanyahu needs to cut deal with Hamas now

Since Avigdor Liberman won’t allow a Gaza arrangement on his watch, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to wrap up a deal before offering Liberman the defense minister position.
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The elections are now behind us, but the real trouble has just begun. Having waited patiently for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to finish his political business, Hamas seems to think the time has come to renew the interrupted negotiations with Israel on a long-term cease-fire deal.

To recap: At the end of March, some two weeks prior to election day, Hamas and Israel reached an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement, ending yet another round of violence prompted by the firing of a missile from Gaza into a house in central Israel. While for political reasons Israel declined to admit to striking a deal with Hamas — after all, who makes deals with a terror organization? — it was clearly no coincidence that Hamas called off its violent border protests and reined in a mass demonstration to mark the first anniversary of its protest campaign. In return, Israel expanded Gaza’s fishing zone and reopened the Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings to goods and people. Hamas promised to lie low and Israel committed to returning to the table after the elections to finalize a long-term arrangement.

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