EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The prospect of a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas brings with it both risks and opportunities. While it remains far from clear that such an arrangement is even feasible, Israel is giving Egyptian mediation efforts a chance.
At present, the Israel-Hamas truce is based on the minimal formula of ‘quiet for quiet.’ Many obstacles stand in the way of efforts to broaden this arrangement.
As time passes, this minimalist formula, in place since the end of Operation Protective Edge in 2014, faces a growing risk of collapsing into a new war.
The truce has already been punctured by five major escalation rounds since May of this year alone, in which Hamas and other armed radical forces in Gaza terrorized southern Israeli areas by firing over 600 rockets and mortars.
The Israel Air Force responded by launching extensive waves of air strikes, hitting hundreds of high-value Hamas military assets in Gaza. Targets included Hamas naval attack tunnels, rocket manufacturing factories, battalion headquarters, command posts, urban warfare training camps, and other enemy assets that Hamas invested considerable time and money into creating.