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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Negotiations between Israel and Hamas: a way out of the impasse

After weeks of war in the Gaza Strip, Israel has failed to dismantle Hamas. Now we have to negotiate with Hamas.

A man sits in despair in a bombed-out house in Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip

Destruction in Khan Yunis Photo: dpa/M

It works. Suddenly there is talk of negotiations between Israel and Hamas, a ceasefire and the release of many hostages. Netanyahu, of all people, is proving to be pragmatic, while some of his fans have previously confused calls for a ceasefire with anti-Semitism.

Israel’s war strategy has effectively failed. After three weeks of ground offensive and an air war with over 11,000 deaths and horrendous destruction, there is still a Hamas leadership as a negotiating partner. Israel failed to achieve the two most important war goals – destroying Hamas and freeing the hostages. Instead, Hamas must now remain intact so that it can return the hostages.

It has never been logical to want to destroy a tunnel-based terrorist organization from the air. Instead, thousands of civilians were killed, millions of people lost their livelihoods – there is a threat of mass death. Recently, 36 well-known UN experts warned of a “developing genocide” in Gaza. It is becoming increasingly difficult to dismiss this accusation. The counterargument that Hamas is using civilians as human shields does not justify the bombing of UN facilities, the banning of fuel for water pumps and clinics Killing of 42 journalists and over 100 UN employees.

Israel’s search for Hamas command centers under hospitals is beginning to remind one of the US’s unsuccessful search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003. Meanwhile, it is said that Hamas headquarters is not in the north of Gaza, but in the south, under the city of Khan Yunis. And so the destruction is about to spread to the south, where the population of the north was previously supposed to flee.

The Palestinians stand with one’s back to the wall and Israel is in a dead end. In the end, Netanyahu will have to place his fate in the hands of Hamas, on whose goodwill much now depends. Millions of people are paying the price for this disaster.

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