Reports that Hamas may be ready by week’s end to renew its cease-fire with Israel are being viewed skeptically by Israeli analysts.
Hamas is said to be considering releasing Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit in return for a large number of Palestinian prisoners and the reopening of the Gaza border with Israel.
Rabbi Noach Weinberg, the founder of the Aish Hatorah yeshiva in Jerusalem that grew into an international outreach institution, and one of the leaders of the 1960s movement that brought thousands of unaffiliated Jews back to traditional Judaism, died Feb. 5 in his Jerusalem home after a long illness.
Israel’s 22-day military offensive against Hamas not only stopped the persistent rocket fire on Israeli towns but may also succeed in preventing Hamas from rearming, according to several Israeli officials and analysts.
But there are those who are less optimistic, and the campaign has been criticized by some as excessive in the human toll it took and by others for not going far enough to dismantle Hamas.
Debate over the merits of continuing the war against Hamas raged this week among Israel’s leadership and political scientists, with one group believing the war has achieved its goals and the other believing a decisive victory is needed.
But there appeared to be consensus that the Israeli assault will end on or before Tuesday when Barack Obama is sworn in as America’s 44th president.