WATCH: Is the Gaza War Really Over?

If neither Israel nor Hamas gets what it wants out of next month’s negotiations, will the fighting resume? And why did it take Khaled Meshal so long to agree to the Egyptian proposal? Military analyst Amos Harel explains.

Aimee Amiga
Aimee Amiga
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Aimee Amiga interviews Amos Harel, Aug.27, 2014.
Aimee Amiga interviews Amos Harel, Aug.27, 2014.
Aimee Amiga
Aimee Amiga

Watch the full interview at the bottom of the article:

The stubbornness of Hamas’ political chief Khaled Meshal caused most of the suffering of the people in the Gaza Strip, Haaretz’s military analyst Amos Harel said Wednesday.

In an interview with Aimee Amiga, Harel explained that Meshal could have prevented most of the casualties in the Gaza Strip had he agreed to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal in the early stages of this round of fighting. That proposal, he said, was barely different to the deal Hamas and Israel agreed to on Tuesday.

He added that it is “absolutely possible” that the fighting could resume in one month’s time, should either side fail to achieve its goals in the negotiations on the more difficult issues – like demilitarizing Hamas in Gaza and creating a sea and airport there. But, he said, the amount of suffering each side has endured in the past seven weeks “would probably help to prevent a new round of escalation.”

As for whether he agrees with critics who say the fighting did not achieve anything for either side, Harel said, “Wars are always futile,” adding that Israel could possibly have avoided the escalation in the first place by being more generous – like allowing easier passage at border crossings – but that Egypt is also to blame. “It was actually the Egyptian siege and the Egyptian pressure on Gaza which caused Hamas to break and start this military conflict,” said Harel.

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