Gaza regains calm after new understandings with Israel

GAZA: Once again, the Palestinian coastal enclave regained calm after Qatar succeeded in mediating new understandings between the Palestinian armed factions and Israel.
However, Palestinian and Israeli observers believe that the new understandings are without long-term guarantees, which means that the two sides could confront each other again.
For many weeks, the Gaza Strip had witnessed military tensions with the Israeli army, as Palestinian youths restored the launch of incendiary balloons towards Israeli towns adjacent to the strip.
As a result, Israeli warplanes targeted dozens of military sites belonging to the Islamic Hamas movement as a response.
According to Palestinian and Israeli reports, the violence was triggered by Israel’s refusal to allow the transfer of Qatari money to the besieged Palestinian enclave.
Although a military escalation between Hamas and Israel seemed around the corner, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the strip, as well as the peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), prevented it from happening, Palestinian observers said.
Under Qatari mediation, Hamas announced on Monday that it had reached understandings with Israel to contain the escalation in the coastal enclave.
In a press statement, the movement said that the new understandings will include several projects aiming to serve local people, who have been suffering from poverty.
Gaza-based political expert Hani Habib said that the new understandings do not seem to differ from the previous ones, and although including humanitarian facilities, they will not end the Israeli blockade.
In addition, there are no guarantees that would force Israel to implement those understandings forever, Habib explained.
“I think this matter leaves possibilities available for launching a new escalation between the two sides if Israel violates its agreement with Hamas once again,” he added.
Nevertheless, Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza, said that his movement has given Israel two months to implement the Qatari-brokered understandings.
“It is not fair to keep our people under the Israeli blockade forever,” al-Hayya added, stressing that if Israel violates the understandings, “we will escalate the situation.”
Israel imposed a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip, which is home to 2 million people, in mid-2007, which led to a notable deterioration of economic and social conditions.–Agencies