President Obama calls the shots: Cease-fire between Israel and Hamas a reality
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President Obama calls the shots: Cease-fire between Israel and Hamas a reality

Jerusalem : Israel | Nov 22, 2012 at 6:59 AM PST
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel

President Obama has succeeded where two previous presidents had failed with a successful peace effort between Israel and Hamas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to the cease-fire proposed by Egypt based on an assurance given by president of the US to extend air support to Israel.

Obama has indicated that the US would provide additional funds for the Iron Dome which is a US-Israeli anti-missile defence system that has proved quite effective in combating the rockets fired from Gaza.

Obviously, it was Obama who called the shots.

The situation had become tense in the last fortnight and there were apprehensions that it might go out of control - there were civilian casualties on both sides.

Therefore, the president immediately sent Hillary Clinton, his trusted secretary of state, to discuss with all the concerned parties to arrive at a solution - of course, Mohamed Morsi, the president of Egypt, also played a crucial role by proposing the peace plan.

It may be recalled that the relations between Obama and Netanyahu have had its ups and downs – at one point of time, Netanyahu had even suggested that Obama was not supportive enough of Israel.

In fact, Netanyahu had, on a number of occasions, tried to undercut attempts by Obama to reduce tensions in the Middle East.

However, in the present circumstances, with an election due in January, Netanyahu is more vulnerable and Obama probably wanted to exploit this.

Bill Clinton had tried to get peace in the region in the latter part of his tenure, but he did not succeed.

George W. Bush also made an attempt of sorts during his tenure, but it ultimately fell upon Obama to strike a deal for peace in the area.

Expectations are now high for President Obama to work out a lasting peace settlement plan for the region in his second term as president.

Incidentally, several rockets were fired from Gaza in the first few hours of the truce, and Israel did not respond sending out signals that it stood by its agreement.

However, as a precautionary measure, Israeli schools close to the Gaza Strip were kept closed.

To be on the safe side, the security forces of Israel took into custody 55 people in the West Bank because there were fears that they were "terror operatives" – 13 were arrested in Hebron.

As per the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the arrested people had links with terror groups and the arrests were to ensure calm.

In the words of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the truce was not a formal agreement but a set of understandings.

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prabirghose is based in Nāshik, Maharashtra, India, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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