What Will Follow The Gaza Truce?

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Context
The truce between Hamas and Israel looks more and more temporary. In the aftermath of the Gaza crisis, all concerned stakeholders are taking stock and preparing themselves for the next stage. The back and forth on who may have won the present round is also in full swing, with both Hamas and Israel claiming victory. In the immediate future, Egypt is bearing the brunt of the impact.

Soon after the truce, Egypt’s President Morsi has gotten embroiled in a domestic backlash. Using the credibility he gained in the Gaza crisis as the key interlocutor, Morsi issued a series of decrees to usurp more power. This move reverberated in a strong reaction from the Egyptian liberals and the judiciary. How long the turmoil in Egypt lasts will directly impact its credibility to monitor the truce. On the other hand, Hamas has announced that it will rearm itself.

Meanwhile, Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has visited Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. Iran and Russia are concerned about Turkey’s decision to place Patriot missiles on its border with Syria. Many analysts are interpreting the placement of the missiles as a move towards imposing a no fly zone. Soon after Larinjani’s visit, Hassan Nasrullah warned on Sunday that if Israel attacked Lebanon, it will have to face a much larger rocket barrage than it confronted from Gaza.

On the other hand, the Israeli media claims the only reason the country agreed to the truce was because the Americans have agreed to deploy Special Forces in Egyptian Sinai to stop arms being supplied from Iran and Libya to Gaza, a claim denied by the US.

According to media reports, Israeli satellites have spotted a cargo ship that is traveling to Sudan and Egypt from Iran. The vessel is potentially carrying Fajr 5 rockets and Shahab 3 ballistic missiles for Hamas. Equally precarious is the presence of American and Russian warships around the eastern Mediterranean.

These same reports have quoted an Israeli defense official as stating, “ Regardless of the ceasefire agreement, we will attack and destroy any shipment of arms to Gaza once we have spotted it.”

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