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Give Israel a 10-year ceasefire

It will be difficult for Israel to acknowledge the resistance's conditions and agree to them because that would mean admitting military defeat. Israel wants to evade Palestinian demands and prolong the truce without any obligation to completely lift the siege imposed on Gaza. Israel will object to a seaport linking Gaza to the outside world.

Yet it would be impossible for the Palestinian resistance, after the number of martyrs sacrificed and wounded, to disregard the Palestinian people's will and agree to a symbolic lifting of the siege whilst still humiliating Palestinians at Rafah or those waiting at the Karam Abu Salem crossing or indeed any other crossing.

Some Israeli observers believe that both sides are being driven to stand their ground because they cannot accept a victory that allows one party to dictate its conditions to the other. The negotiations in Cairo are a reflection of the reality on the ground, consistent with opinion polls conducted by Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, which show that 28 per cent of Israelis admitted that Hamas had won the war. 21 per cent of Israelis believe that Israel won the war on Hamas. However, 48 per cent of Israelis believed that the war was a tie between Hamas and Israel.

However, the Palestinians do not believe the war was a tie, instead believing that the Palestinian resistance were victorious over Israel as their plans failed and the resistance continued to persevere. This was despite the difference in the balance of power and regardless of the number of martyrs and those wounded or the devastation of cities, neighbourhoods, and refugee camps in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians' sense of victory puts pressure on Palestinian negotiators to reap the fruits of this military victory in political terms. Although, the Israeli political leadership has not yet acknowledged this fact. I propose that the Palestinian negotiators should present a tempting offer to the Israeli leadership and agree to a ten year truce in exchange for a written agreement from Israel that a seaport will be established in Gaza.

Israel will not stick to the truce for the entire period, but it is an achievement the current Israeli government could present as a victory. The establishment of a seaport in the Gaza Strip would be an achievement for the resistance and would pave the way for other points of dispute that would represent the first step to the path of liberation from occupation.

Translated from Felesteen newspaper, 13 August, 2014

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