Is the ceasefire near in the Middle East?

The ceasefire in the Middle East is a complex and uncertain issue, as the conflict between Israel and Hamas has been ongoing for decades and involves many regional and international actors.

Iron Dome
Iron Dome
Middle East map 1947
Middle East map 1947

According to the latest news reports, there have been some efforts to broker a ceasefire, but they have not yet resulted in a lasting agreement. Here are some of the main points:

  • A ceasefire brokered by Egypt and other countries came into effect on Friday, February 23, 2024, but it was short-lived, as fighting resumed within hours after both sides accused each other of violating the terms of the truce1.
  • The White House said its envoy, Brett McGurk, had held talks with Israeli leaders and that the discussions were “going well”, but did not provide any details on the progress or the prospects of a new ceasefire23.
  • Qatar, which has played a crucial role in mediating between Israel and Hamas, confirmed that talks were continuing “with the aim of returning to a pause” and urged both sides to show restraint and respect the humanitarian situation2.
  • The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Thursday, February 22, 2024, to discuss the crisis, but failed to agree on a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire, as the US blocked the draft, saying it was “unbalanced” and did not address the root causes of the conflict2.
  • The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains dire, as the Israeli airstrikes have caused widespread damage and casualties, and the blockade has prevented the delivery of essential supplies and services. The UN and other aid agencies have called for urgent access and protection for civilians in Gaza2.

The ceasefire in the Middle East is not a simple or straightforward matter, and it depends on many factors and variables that are beyond the control of any single actor.

Therefore, it is hard to predict when or if a ceasefire will be achieved, and what it will entail. However, we can hope that the diplomatic efforts will continue and that the violence will end soon, for the sake of the people who are suffering on both sides.