Today’s truce agreement should see some dramatic changes almost immediately. Israel has pledged to stop launching army raids in the occupied territories and attacks from the air The selective assassinations of leaders of Palestinian militant groups are being called off.
And their well-armed followers will be left alone. As many as 3,000 Palestinian militants have been killed in targeted attacks in the past four years. In return, the daily reign of fear for Israeli citizens should be over with a commitment from Palestinian extremists to stop suicide bomb attacks which have brought terror to markets, bus stops and cafes. Rocket attacks and raids on Jewish settlements will also end. Israel holds more than 8,000 Palestinian prisoners. It will release 900 rapidly. The fate of the rest, especially those accused of terrorism, depends on the results of furthur negotiations. In the coming weeks the Israeli military is expected to pull out of several major towns in the West Bank which they had occupied to try and stamp out the intifada. The Palestinian Authority will fill the vacuum with its own forces. Finally, Israel will stand by its decision to unilaterally pull out of the Gaza Strip and to dismantle Jewish settlements there. It is clear that for the truce agreement to be successful both sides will have to move quickly to show they are prepared to stick to their half of the deal.