The Washington Times reports that Israel has announced a cease fire in its battle against Hamas:
Israel on Thursday announced a cease-fire in the bruising 11-day war against Hamas militants that caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip and brought life in much of Israel to a standstill.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced the cease-fire after a late-night meeting of his Security Cabinet. It said the group had unanimously accepted an Egyptian proposal, though the sides were still determining exactly when it was to take effect.
Senior defense officials, including the military chief of staff and national security adviser, recommended accepting the proposal after claiming “great accomplishments” in the operation, the statement said.
One member of the Security Cabinet said the cease-fire would take effect at 2 a.m., roughly three hours after the announcement. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the closed-door talks.
Shortly after the announcement, air-raid sirens indicating incoming rocket fire sounded in southern Israel.
Maybe Hamas was trying to get its last licks.
Ideally, Israel would conquer and destroy Hamas. But this would require an invasion of Gaza. Israelis don’t want to undertake that operation, and who can blame them?
The next best option is massively to degrade Hamas’ ability to strike Israel, to kill as many Hamas leaders and fighters as reasonably can be done through air attacks, and to inflict enough damage in Gaza to deter Hamas from attacking Israel again for more than just a few years.
Has Israel accomplished all or any of this? I don’t know. I’m not sure whether even the Israeli military and government know.
I hope that Israel at least has good reason to believe it has made substantial strides in these regards. Otherwise, it shouldn’t agree to a cease fire yet.
On the positive side, it now looks like my wife will be able to take her planned trip to Israel next month.