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Pressure builds on Netanyahu, Sinwar for Gaza cease-fire

Pressure is escalating on the Israeli premier, who wants to avoid a decision on peace deal and stay in power, yet recent statements by the Hamas leader are giving him space.
Yahya Sinwar, Hamas' political chief in Gaza, speaks during a rally organised by the representatives of prominent families (mokhtar) in support of "the Palestinian resistence" in Gaza City, on June 20, 2021.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prefers the gray zone of non-decision, a "yes, but" response in private, keeping his options open as long as possible with as many stakeholders as possible, and running out the clock.

If the day ends and he is still in power, and he’s avoided a decision, it’s a good day in Netanyahu’s score.

Last week, US President Joe Biden pulled Netanyahu by the hair out of the grey zone and into the light, as Ben Caspit described it to me, by making public what Biden characterized as an "Israeli proposal" for a three-part hostage exchange and cease-fire.

That the White House rolled this out on a Friday, during Shabbat in Israel, when the far-right flank of Bibi’s coalition can’t even pick up the phone, was deliberate in order to make the Israeli PM’s decision-making that much more agonizing. 

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