Rocket fire continues despite talk of an imminent ceasefire
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Rocket fire continues despite talk of an imminent ceasefire

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A Gaza cease fire is impossible as long as Hamas is armed with rockets, former United States Middle East envoy Dennis Ross told The Jerusalem Post as he discussed the violence between Israelis and Palestinians over the last two weeks.

“So long as Hamas can have rockets, then the prospect of changing anything in Gaza will be very limited and any calm is basically a short term calm,” Ross said, adding that as long as Hamas posed missiles, “they will fire them into Israel.”

He urged the international community to link humanitarian aid to Hamas demilitarization. And even then, he said, a mechanism would be needed to ensure that humanitarian assistance to Gaza was not diverted to Hamas for the reconstruction of its rocket arsenal.

The question is can Hamas be sufficiently on the defensive to give up its rockets, Ross said. That can only happen if there is an offer for substantive reconstruction assistance to Gaza, Ross said.

Ross said he believed that the Abraham Accords that allowed for normalized ties between Israel and the Arab world could be used to help preserve the option for a two-state solution, until such time as a negotiated settlement is possible.

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