by Stephen Lendman
The latest 72-hour ceasefire expired at midnight Wednesday local time. Both sides agreed to extend it another five days.
They did so despite seemingly irreconcilable differences. Hamas, other resistance groups, millions of occupied and diaspora Palestinians, as well as growing world public opinion want Gaza's siege unconditionally lifted.
Palestinians want unrestricted movement of people and goods, a seaport to facilitate imports and exports, fishing zones extended, and control over their borders, coastline, air space and resources.
They want long denied fundamental rights. Israel remains hardline. It refuses to offer nothing but token relief too little to matter.
It wants Gaza demilitarized. It wants Hamas and other resistance groups defenseless against certain future Israeli aggression.
It wants control over people and goods entering and existing Gaza. It wants it either directly or indirectly.
Its other demands run counter to fundamental Palestinian rights.
Wide differences between both sides remain.
Days more talks aren't likely to change things. Palestinian negotiators agreed to continue them as a show of good faith.
As Wednesday's deadline approached, dozens of Israeli tanks and armored personnel carries mobilized on Gaza's border.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said "(w)e have already sacrificed 64 men and it is possible we may have to sacrifice more.
Palestinian negotiator Azzam al-Ahmad said agreement was reached "on many points," but major differences remain.
His team members left Cairo Thursday to consult with their leaders. Egyptian mediators proposed delaying talks on major issues until a permanent ceasefire is in place for one month.
They include lifting Gaza's siege, permitting a seaport and airport, as well as other major sticking points.
Delay advantages Israel. It harms Palestinians. Oslo showed why.
Palestinians got nothing for renouncing armed struggle, recognizing Israel's right to exist, and agreeing to leave major unresolved issues for later final status talks.
Twenty-one years later, they're still waiting. Israel's occupation remains. Conditions are much worse now than then.
Land theft continues. Israel's settler population tripled in size. Diaspora Palestinians can't return.
East Jerusalem isn't Palestine's capital. Israel controls over 60% of West Bank land. Gaza remains the world's largest open-air prison.
Israeli oppression is unrelenting. Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners languish in its gulag. They do so under horrific conditions.
Torture remains official Israeli policy. So is state terror against an entire Arab population. Palestinian self-determination remains elusive.
Beleaguered people have no control over their borders, air space, coastline, water and other resources. Brutal occupation conditions persist.
Police state oppression characterizes them. Military orders control virtually every aspect of Palestinian life. Abbas and his cronies serve illegitimately as Israeli enforcers.
Fundamental rights are denied. Jews alone are afforded them. Arabs are dehumanized and denigrated. They're considered inferior, violent, immoral, cruel gun-toting terrorists.
At the same time, Jews are called superior, industrious, brave, and God's chosen people. From pre-school through adulthood, an entire population is brainwashed to believe what should be denounced.
No wonder the vast majority of Israeli Jews supported Netanyahu's genocidal Gaza war. They've been taught to hate Arabs since before they could know how their minds were manipulated by a ruthless racist state.
Believing Cairo talks can change things in Gaza for the better is pure fantasy. Israel considers Hamas and other legitimate resistance groups terrorist organizations.
At the same time, it bears repeating what previous articles stressed. Israeli agreements aren't worth the paper they're written on.
They're made to be breached. Israel says one thing. It does another. It's done so throughout its existence.
Daily violations occur straightaway. Palestinians are blamed for Israeli crimes. Peace and stability are non-starters.
Israel is a modern-day Sparta. Belligerence is a way of life. Zionism harms Jews and non-Jews alike. It's racist, violent and repressive.
It's ideologically over-the-top. It turned Israel into one of the world's most abusive human rights violators.
It legitimizes state-sponsored terror. It breeds hate. It fosters lawlessness and other egregious behavior.
It suppresses dissent. It justifies the unjustifiable. It considers legitimate Israeli criticism anti-Semitism.
It considers pacifism sissy. It glorifies militarism and belligerence as a way of life.
It lets Israel get away with the most extreme high crimes against peace. It's a cancer destroying its adherents.
It shows up in virtually every facet of Israeli life. It turned Israel into a pariah state.
Expect Cairo talks to produce no substantive change for the better throughout the territories.
Expect Israeli oppression to remain unchanged. Expect justice to remain denied. Expect Israeli aggression to erupt any time for any reason or none at all.
Expect Palestinians to be wrongfully blamed for Israeli crimes. Expect Israeli-initiated violence to remain unabated.
Expect continued full Washington support for its worst crimes. Expect Palestinian liberation to remain a distant dream.
Negotiations ad nauseam at best achieve tokenism too little to matter. Expect life throughout Occupied Palestine to remain brutally unjust.
Expect world leaders able to make a difference to do nothing to change things.
Expect Palestinians to remain isolated on their own. Expect Israel to take full advantage.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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