The Paris Agreement after the Hamas and Israeli response, where to?

The Palestinian resistance has dealt intelligently through Hamas’ response to the framework of the Paris understanding, where the response was described as positive and comprehensive, and provided solutions to get out of the bottleneck. This is the result of its ability to confront on the battlefield and inflict human and material losses on the occupation army. This is evidence that Hamas is still able to lead, fight and regroup, while Israel is unable after four months to free even a single hostage. Forward despite Israeli reluctance.

At first, Israel is still pressuring Hamas by killing children and women and bombing health institutions, shelters and UNRWA schools to make concessions on the issue of handing over hostages. But after more than four months, the resistance and the Gaza people did not and will not raise the white flag, despite the tragedy and humanitarian catastrophe due to what the occupation has done, flouting all international conventions and laws. So Hamas’ response to the Paris Agreement was to stop the massacres and the continuous systematic destruction, so the framework had to be approved. General and accept the division of the agreement into three stages, provided that these stages lead to a comprehensive and complete ceasefire through dealing with international initiatives, and the search for international and Arab guarantees and the expansion of the circle of guarantees so that Israel binds to what is agreed upon for fear of violating it. Because Israel is accustomed to non-compliance with the agreements, and perhaps the Oslo agreement is still present, as Israel has not implemented its provisions despite the implementation of all the provisions by the Palestinian Authority.

Accordingly, the resistance did not surrender or be defeated in the battle, and is still able to withstand in order for Israel to impose conditions on it to surrender. And despite the strength of the resistance, it put forward reasonable and uncomplicated responses.

Israel did not like the position of the Arab mediators represented by Egypt and Qatar, who considered the Hamas response to the Paris Agreement good and positive, and can be built upon to reach a comprehensive agreement to resolve the crisis in the Gaza Strip, including the hostages. On the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian and Qatari position, instead of pressuring Hamas, was to put pressure on Netanyahu.

In the same vein, the US response came from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who expressed positive positions in Hamas’s response that could lead to a prisoner exchange agreement, which was somewhat consistent with the Egyptian, Qatari and international positions.

As for the Israeli position, which can be described as rejecting the undeclared agreement due to many internal Israeli considerations, which we will talk about in detail, it did not announce acceptance or rejection. But it was described as a negative response, and by Defense Minister Yoav Galant, this stems from the nature of Israel, which imposes its will on the world.

As for the Israeli position, there are many factors, some of which constitute pressure factors towards accepting the completion of the deal, including factors that hinder the completion of the exchange deal and the cessation of the war on the Gaza Strip.

Pressure factors to complete the deal, the most important of which are:

  • The pressure of the home front, represented by the families of the hostages, and the popular support for them through protests, demonstrations, and the formation of pressure groups on Netanyahu to accept the exchange deal. And this is an important factor in the event of an escalation of mass mobilization in the squares and constitutes a real pressure card on the Netanyahu government.
  • The more the death toll increases without Israel’s ability to free the hostages by force, which is a major pressure factor on the government, which has not been able to achieve achievements and goals in the war. But rather increases its losses instead of freeing the hostages, in addition to the enormous, continuous and escalating economic losses due to the continuation of the war and the disruption of the almost collapsed Israeli economy.
  • The migration of settlers from the Gaza envelope and the north in light of the escalation of the confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon, which has constituted a great pressure factor by the residents who refuse to return to their settlements in light of the war. And this constitutes a great political and economic pressure on the Netanyahu government, which cannot be continued any longer in time.
  • The pressure of the Israeli opposition represented by Yair Lapid, army and security officers and even Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot of the War Council, who support a ceasefire and an exchange deal that would bring the hostages back alive and do not mind paying a high price for this deal.
  • The position of the United States, which wants to cool the fronts and cease fire in the Gaza Strip, which leads to the implementation of its political vision in the region and the continuation of Arab-Israeli normalization, specifically with Riyadh.
  • Gantz and his party pressured Netanyahu by threatening to withdraw from the war council, considering that the American vision is in line with their vision of achieving security for Israel in the region, and that this opportunity brings Israel to rehabilitate through normalization and a political solution that pulls the rug from under the feet of the axis of resistance, which focuses on the Palestinian issue and finding a just solution to it.
  • The approval of the formation of a safety net by Yair Lapid, the head of the opposition to Netanyahu, in the event of the withdrawal of the extreme right from the government and this is to pull the rug out from under Netanyahu, who claims that if he signs the deal, the right will withdraw. And this gives Netanyahu a great ability to maneuver in negotiating with the extreme right in his government and pressures them to continue in the government.

The pressure factors for not completing the deal are:

  • Netanyahu’s interest in continuing the war and not making major concessions to Hamas, fearing for his political future tied to the war, in the hope of achieving something in the battle that he can present to Israeli society as a national hero.
  • Pressure from the extreme right and from Netanyahu’s allies who form the government with him, Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, who refuse to advance and even demand the resettlement of the Gaza Strip. And if Netanyahu approves the deal without the approval of the right, the government will be dissolved and then Netanyahu’s political future will be over. So Netanyahu will continue the war and pressure Hamas through murder and expanding the circle of concentrated assassinations to pressure the Arab and international position and Hamas to reach an agreement that he can accept and produce as a war and political hero. What he did not apply in war he could apply in politics.
  • Knesset members from the Likud party and the extreme right attacked the completion of the deal and opposed the acceptance of the cessation of the war, rejected the American position, interfered in the Israeli position and pressured Israel, and demanded that the United States not exert pressure on Israel.

As for the Israeli response to Hamas’s response, it was announced on February 9, 2024, and Israeli journalist Barak Ravid said, “At the end of the military cabinet meeting, Israel sent letters to Egypt, Qatar and the United States rejecting most of Hamas’ responses to the broad outlines of the release of detainees.” And the Israeli message to the mediators is to work to reduce the gap, as it is very wide, as if Israel wants to exert military pressure on Hamas, and pressure on Egyptian and Qatari mediators. The Hebrew Walla website summarized the Israeli responses in the following points:

  • He rejected most of Hamas’s remarks but is ready for negotiations on the basis of the Paris agreement.
  • Refusing to withdraw its forces from the central Gaza Strip and returning displaced people to the north in the first phase.
  • Israel is ready to withdraw its forces from city centers in the first phase.
  • He refused to discuss lifting the blockade on Gaza during prisoner exchange negotiations.
  • Rejection of Hamas’ ratio of Palestinian prisoners versus Israeli prisoners.
  • Rejecting Hamas’ demands regarding Al-Aqsa Mosque and placing Palestinian prisoners in prison.

Israel said at the end of its response that its negotiating team was in contact with the Qatari and Egyptian mediations in an attempt to bridge the gap to allow for serious negotiations. This means that the Israeli response will bring the negotiations back to the starting point.

Accordingly, the solution lies in the hands of the United States, which can exert real pressure on Netanyahu and remove him from the tree in reaching an end to the war, completing the exchange deal, solving the political and security problems of the Gaza Strip, a comprehensive withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and moving towards a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue in order to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This depends on the resistance’s ability to withstand and achieve many casualties on the battlefield, and the army’s inability to reach the hostages and bring them out of Hamas captivity, which will ultimately be a decisive factor in reaching an agreement to end the war and conclude an exchange deal. In addition to the ability of the people in the Gaza Strip to endure the catastrophe and tragedy that befell the Gaza Strip.

In the end, Israel will accept to make a deal to exchange hostages, put an end to the war in the Gaza Strip and make arrangements for the Strip, no matter how much Netanyahu procrastinates in light of the steadfastness of the resistance. He has no choice but to agree, and this Netanyahu knows, but he wants to reduce the ceiling of the demands of the Palestinian resistance by increasing the intensity of the killing and massacres that began a few days ago before the announcement of the position and continued and will continue to reach the area of Rafah, which is crowded with displaced people. On the one hand. On the other hand, Netanyahu’s political future, he does not want to risk his alliance and the stability of the government to stay in power for a longer period.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations in addition to a Master's degree in International Security Studies. Alongside this, I have a passion for web development. During my studies, I acquired a strong understanding of fundamental political concepts and theories in international relations, security studies, and strategic studies.

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