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Ceasefire Deal in Gaza Unlikely; Israel–Hezbollah Tensions Rise

State of the Union: Negotiations are snarled on the duration of a ceasefire.

It appears that the Biden administration’s planned ceasefire for the ongoing Gaza war is probably dead as the Israeli and Hamas proposals seem to present irreconcilable differences, with the latter going so far as to call the provisions described by U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken “unworkable.”

Hamas responded to the deal by making several “amendments” to it in an attempt to avoid the optics of explicitly refusing the deal. While the Israelis have described Hamas’s amendments as a rejection, Blinken stressed the need for further mediation. The Hamas political bureau members Izzat al-Rishq and Jihad Taha asserted that Hamas’ response “opens up a wide pathway” to a ceasefire and peace settlement.


It appears that the current points of contention in the deal are Hamas’s demands that Israel commit up-front to a permanent ceasefire and full Israeli withdrawal, while the Israelis’ version allows fighting to resume if Hamas does not meet certain conditions. The Israeli plan does include a commitment to a six-week ceasefire. 

At the same time, tensions along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon have increased significantly, with Hezbollah launching 215 rockets at Israel on Wednesday and a further 40 on Thursday in response to the killing of a senior Hezbollah commander earlier in the week. The most recent attacks injured two and started several fires that are still raging. The IDF has responded by conducting airstrikes against Hezbollah infrastructure in Southern Lebanon.