Ceasefire terms: TBD

The Iranian mullahcracy has armed Hamas with increasingly powerful weapons. Daniel Pipes provides the background to the arms smuggling that Hamas depends on in “Gaza’s not the key, Philadelphi is.” Short of replacing Hamas with less murderous successors, shutting down the smuggling must be one of Israel’s key goals for the area.

So what arrangements did the ceasefire engineered by the United States provide for the termination of smuggling into Gaza? In an apparently authoritative New York Times story, Michael Gordon reports that the terms of the ceasefire are essentially yet to be determined:

The accord called for an end to “hostilities,” including targeted assassinations, but did not refer explicitly to Israeli reconnaissance flights of Gaza, Middle East experts note. It stated that issues like opening border crossings and allowing Gaza residents near the border with Israel “shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of cease-fire.” But the accord did not stipulate when such steps would be taken. Instead, they were to be a matter of discussion between the Egyptians and the Israelis.

The ambiguity provided room for differing interpretations by Hamas and Israel over the pace for taking such steps and the conditions under which they would be put into effect. The Israeli insistence that the smuggling of rockets into Gaza be stopped was referred to elliptically as “other matters” that might also be taken up by the two sides.

As Mrs. Clinton headed to the airport in Cairo for the flight to Washington, one aide said, she was not exuberant. The cease-fire seemed fragile, and the agreement was just a step toward resolving the underlying tensions over Gaza.

Something here doesn’t compute — and it’s not just the “step toward resolving the underling tensions over Gaza” — but I hesitate to say more.

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