Opinion: Light at the end of the tunnel in Gaza

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In spite of current tensions, there is still potential for Israeli and Palestinian forces to reach a truce.

Thankfully, a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was reached last week. After an extremely bloody miniwar, the two sides were able to hammer out an agreement with the aid of other countries facilitating the conversation.

But it’s obvious that such a ceasefire cannot be permanent. Sooner or later, more conflict will break out. As it is, the region is too unstable, and the relationship between Israel and Palestine (and much of the Middle Eastern world, at that) is racked by decades of distrust and misanthropy. But could this outbreak of conflict, or more importantly the aftermath, actually prove to be beneficial?

It very well could be. Throughout the fighting, Hamas was practically begging Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to join them in attacking Israel. Although Morsi is reputed for a conservative, Islamic agenda (which many may think aligns him against the Israelis), he refused to do so. He kept Egypt intact with the rest of the democratic world in not supporting the militaristic tendencies of Hamas. This is a very positive sign.

After Morsi’s democratic election, many throughout America were afraid that he would resume dictatorial power much like Hosni Mubarak did before him. But this turn of events should be enough to squash those fears. Although Morsi’s liberalization is being questioned, he is ultimately allowing for a level-headed relationship both with his people and with other countries.

Also important to consider as aftermath of this conflict is Palestinian opinion of Hamas. For the vast majority of people inhabiting the Gaza Strip, Hamas does not accurately reflect their needs and wishes. Hamas is in step with Iran in wanting to create a military rule over the rest of the region and the imposition of radical Islamist ideals. However, for regular Palestinians, they would rather get their daily needs met and not be afraid of being killed in a missile strike. With the threat of war constantly looming as more and more innocents perish in Israeli strikes, Palestinians may be more open to reconciliation and a rejection of radical groups. Even-keeled leaders respecting moderate Palestinian needs would automatically be more privy to productive negotiation with Israeli leadership.

The conflict has gotten ugly, but were these tensions not to arise they would simply fester and prevent the futhering of change and new agendas better-adapted to changing situations. Now is a better time than ever for negotiation. Both sides need it, and with luck, they may get it.