The war between Israel and Hamas: The fate of the ceasefire depends on Netanyahu and Yahya Sinwar

Tel Aviv, Israel (AFP) – Destiny Proposed ceasefire agreement Because in many ways Gaza depends on two men: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

Every leader faces Important political And personal pressures that may affect decision making. Neither appears in a rush to make concessions to end the devastating eight-month war and release the hostages taken by Hamas in the October 7 attack.

Hamas accepted the plan’s outlines but requested “amendments.” Netanyahu has publicly objected to some aspects of this plan, even though the United States put it within the framework of an Israeli plan.

between the Major sticking points It is about how to move from an initial temporary truce in the first phase of the deal to a permanent ceasefire that includes an end to the fighting and a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

Here’s a look at what might motivate the two leaders:

Netanyahu ‘buys time’

Throughout the war, the long-serving Israeli leader was criticized for allowing this Political considerations He got in the way of making his decision.

His government is supported by two extremist nationalist parties that oppose the ceasefire agreements. Instead, they prefer continued military pressure to try to defeat Hamas and free the hostages. They also talk about “encouraging” Palestinians to leave and re-establish Israeli settlements, which were dismantled when Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 after 38 years of occupation.

Netanyahu himself has taken a hard line on the ceasefire, saying he will not end the war until Hamas’s military and governance capabilities are destroyed.

But with his hardline partners vowing to topple the government if a ceasefire is reached, Netanyahu has been pushed into a further corner. His reliance on them to stay in power intensified recently after a centrist member of his war cabinet, former army chief Benny Gantz, He resigned due to frustrations With Netanyahu’s handling of the conflict.

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Netanyahu has had to balance internal pressures with the demands of the Biden administration, which is promoting its latest ceasefire proposal, and the demands of hostage families who believe only an agreement can release their loved ones. Tens of thousands of Israelis joined the massive protests in support of the hostage families.

Netanyahu seems to stand by that His ruling partners are from the extreme right For now, he knows they hold the key to his immediate political survival, though he says he has the country’s best interest in mind.

Their departure from government could lead to new elections, opening the way for a vote that could end his rule and potentially launching investigations into the October 7 failures.

Netanyahu is also on trial for corruption, proceedings that continued throughout the war but have faded from public consciousness. It is possible that the ceasefire agreement will refocus attention on the accusations I have followed the Israeli leader for years Which he strongly denies.

Netanyahu’s political fortunes appear to have improved over the course of the war. His popular support declined following the surprise attack launched by Hamas on southern Israel. But as time passed, it gradually started to improve. While he still faces a difficult road to re-election, he cannot be written off.

He added: “He is running the war the way he wants, which means very slowly. He is buying time, said Gideon Rahat, a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, a think tank in Jerusalem, and head of the political science department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Rahat said that Netanyahu is also keen to move forward with the war in the hope that former US President Donald Trump will return to office, which may give Israel more space in its war against Hamas.

“I don’t see any ceasefire that’s really close to being something he embraces,” Rahat said. “But he’s not the only one in control of reality.”

The Sinwar’s mission is to survive

Hamas leader in Gaza It also appears that he is in no rush to sign a deal.

The exile armed group’s leadership has somewhat varied views on how to handle the ceasefire agreement. But Sinwar – the mastermind of the October 7 attacks – has special weight in this matter.

As a Hamas leader who spent decades in Israeli prisons, he has incentives to continue the war.

On a personal level, his life may be at stake. Israel has vowed to kill him in retaliation for the October attack, and Sinwar is believed to be hiding deep in Gaza’s underground tunnels and surrounded by Israeli hostages.

If a ceasefire is reached, Sinwar will take a huge risk by going public.

“I think he understands that he’s kind of a dead man walking. But it’s a question of how long can he last?” said Khaled El Gendy, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Middle East Research Institute.

But so is Sinwar Motivated, driven More than just his personal fate. immersed in Hamas extremist ideologySinwar seeks Israel’s destruction and has made political gains by watching the war damage Israel’s international standing and boost support for the Palestinian cause.

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Israel has faced increasing international criticism – from its Western allies, from the international justice system, and from protesters around the world – for its behavior during the war. This deepened Israel’s global isolation, brought accusations of genocide against the Palestinians, and prompted the ICC prosecutor to make a decision. Seeking to arrest Israeli leaders.

Ahmed Fouad Al-Khatib, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, wrote on the social media platform special conditions.

But Sinwar may face some tough questions of his own when the war is over — not just about his personal role in the atrocities of October 7, but also from the Palestinian public as the full extent of wartime devastation and a years-long reconstruction process. Dive in.

The soldier said that Sinwar was not deterred by the high price that Palestinian civilians in Gaza pay in the war, considering it an inevitable sacrifice on the path to liberation.

The soldier said that from Sinwar’s point of view, continuing to fight Israel’s powerful army, even if only through pockets of resistance, deprives Israel of victory.

“Their whole mission is to survive,” he added. “If they survive, they win.”

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Associated Press writers Julia Frankel and Jack Jeffrey contributed from Jerusalem.

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Follow AP’s coverage on https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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