Fmr. Israeli Peace Negotiator Daniel Levy: U.S. Pressure on Israel Is Key to Lasting Gaza Ceasefire

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Even after Hamas accepted a Gaza ceasefire proposal Monday, Israeli forces moved in with tanks to seize the Rafah crossing with Egypt. Israel says the ceasefire deal falls short of its demands, and Hamas has called for “international intervention.” Former Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy says the limited information and political maneuvering of all parties raises more questions than answers right now, but the core issue is whether all parties can maintain a sustained end to hostilities. “In addition to testing each other, the Hamas and Israeli parties are testing the United States of America and the Biden administration in an unprecedented way,” says Levy. “Hamas detects that the U.S. may finally be serious about offering a sustained calm.” While Levy says growing external pressure from global protests are “having an impact,” he doubts U.S. and Israeli leaders feel they must change course yet. “The pressure does not feel sufficient that Netanuahu’s politics needs him to accept a ceasefire. He still thinks he can wiggle out of this,” says Levy. “If this deal doesn’t go through, I fear we’re in for the much longer haul.”

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