Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam - Here is my (cynical) version of the ceasefire agreement signed by the parties:
1. Bibi has gotten what he needed–an election boost.
2. Hamas has gotten what it needed–striking body blows against the Zionist oppressor, further isolating and discrediting its mortal national enemy, Fatah. The Iranian Fajr 5 rockets which reached Tel Aviv and environs, while mostly stopped by Iron Dome, served a useful purpose by reminding Israel that it was not invincible, and reminding Israel of what Iran can do to it if Iran is attacked by Israel.
3. Bibi avoids the worst pitfalls of an escalation–lots of Israeli body bags and a war extending into the election period–each of which would tend to weigh on the minds of the voters in ways that would be unpleasant and unproductive (for Likud).
4. Hamas gets to avoid the worst of an invasion in which there would be hundreds, if not thousands of civilian dead. Stopping the war now allows them to keep much of their powder dry for a future war, of which one can be guaranteed.
If you review the real ceasefire document you’ll find nothing but bland, vague assurances of action accompanied by no concrete mechanisms for enforcement, as there was in the UN ceasefire that ended the 2006 Lebanon war. The most hopeful clause, as far as Hamas is concerned, is the one concerning the end of Israel’s siege. Here too the language is vague to the point of meaninglessness. In 24 hours, some unspecified process should lead to further discussions which should lead to unspecified procedures that end the siege (or not). Good luck with that.
This settles nothing, solves nothing. It addresses no major issues and will lead to nothing positive. But one positive thing that has come out of this indirectly is that if Obama ever gets his shit together and decides to implement a real peace process, then Egypt could be a real partner and interlocutor on behalf of the Palestinians. It could both advocate for them and keep them in line at the point where the rubber meets the road. The question is whether the U.S. can play the same role regarding Israel. Certainly, with this government, the outlook is grim. If Obama needed a reason not to get involved,that would be it.