Towards A Cease Fire? Ctd


There was talk that a ceasefire would happen last night, but Peter Beaumont explains why it didn’t:

The reality, it emerged on Wednesday, is that both sides were facing internal opposition to the proposed ceasefire. In Israel, according to some reports, a cabinet split saw the defence minister, Ehud Barak, prepared to accept the ceasefire originally on offer while the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, were opposed. That split, some analysts have speculated, may have as much to do with Israel’s internal politics, with an election on the horizon, as the substance of any deal.

On the Palestinian side the argument was even more complicated, pitting factions within Hamas who were happy to accept a ceasefire against hardliners around Mohamed Deif, Hamas’s military commander and other groups, who seek an immediate lifting of the blockade and opening of the Rafah border crossing. In Hamas itself there has been growing competition both between the military side, which has taken increasing prominence, and the political wing, and between Khalid Meshaal, the main leader in exile, and the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniya.

Previous coverage here and here.

(Photo: Emergency services respond to the scene of an explosion on a bus with passengers onboard on November 21, 2012 in central Tel Aviv, Israel. At least fifteen people have been injured in a blast on a bus near military headquarters in what is being described as terrorist attack. None of the injuries are life-threatening. By Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)