Benjamin Netanyahu has a reputation as the most hardline of Israeli leaders. Yet he decided - at least for the time being - to hold off from the sort of war which so many of his predecessors felt it necessary to authorise.
There will be no repeat of Operation Cast Lead, the previous invasion of Gaza. Mr Netanyahu has allowed diplomacy to take precedence, even though both his aerial bombardment of Gaza and his subsequent negotiations with Hamas have given his foes the international legitimacy they have long craved.
Some - perhaps even Mr Netanyahu himself, in a previous age - would regard this as a sign of weakness. In fact, it is a recognition of changed circumstances.
Israeli spokesmen lwere saying the aims of military action had been achieved - that the ceasefire would bring an end to rocket attacks on southern Israel. Yet there was already a ceasefire in place when it began its bombardment with a missile strike hitting the Hamas military leader, Ahmed al-Jaabari.
The real story is Israel's need to come to new terms with its neighbours.Read More...
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