Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Hamas and Israel reach accord
Well, how long can this possibly last? The group that took control of the Gaza Strip last year only to be isolated politically and economically by Israel and the United States said Tuesday that it had reached a cease-fire with Jerusalem. The accord, expected to take effect Thurdsay, commits Israel to stop military incursions into Gaza and Hamas to halt rocket fire against southern Israeli cities. Israel and Hamas do not recognize each other and have been negotiating through intermediaries from Egypt. If the cease-fire holds, Israel is committed to gradually relaxing its economic blockade of Gaza, which has caused deprivation in the territory. But the failure of Israel and Hamas to talk to each other reflects deeply held animosity, which does not bode well for building trust. And, just before the truce was scheduled to take effect Thursday, Israel destroyed three targets in Gaza and Gaza militants fired four shells at Israel. There were no injuries reported, according to the Reuters international news agency.