Israel On Gaza: Calm Will Be Met With Calm
“Calm for calm” is a familiar and inherently unstable dynamic between Israel and Hamas that nonetheless currently is offering much-needed respite for Israeli southerners and Gazans following last week’s major uptick in violence along the border. According to Israeli officials, while no formal ceasefire has been agreed to, the sides have arrived at a tacit understanding—albeit one that is largely undefined and thus temporary—to work towards restoring relative quiet. This comes after nearly 200 projectiles were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel over a 24-hour period beginning Wednesday night, to which the Israel Defense Forces responded with about 150 strikes targeting terrorist infrastructure. That the operative word is “relative” was made clear Friday, when three Gazans reportedly were killed in clashes that broke out for the twentieth week in a row during the latest installment of the Hamas-initiated “March of Return” protests. On Saturday, the IDF conducted a series of air strikes against sites in Gaza after a cell was identified launching incendiary objects into Israel. United Nations diplomats visited the Palestinian enclave over the weekend as the push to forge a long-term truce continues; this, despite an apparent growing mindfulness by all parties that the remaining stumbling blocks may be insurmountable.