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Why has an Israel-Hamas ceasefire been so elusive? A timeline of key moments in the search for peace

  • Written by Marika Sosnowski, Postdoctoral research fellow, The University of Melbourne

Ever since armed conflict has existed, ceasefires have been thought of as a bridge between war and peace. Consequently, their success has been measured by their ability to stop violence between warring parties for a period of time.

However, ceasefires are not a panacea. This is as true for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as it is for many other conflicts around the world, like Ukraine, Syria and Sudan. Ceasefires are often just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what needs to be done to provide meaningful, structural security for those most affected by complex systems of violence that transcend times of war.

Since 2007, there have been five major conflicts between Israel, Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza. All of these wars have ended in some sort of ceasefire agreement. Some of these ceasefires have been unilaterally declared, while others have been negotiated and agreed to by the parties to the conflict.

Since the earliest days of the current war between Israel and Hamas, there have been numerous calls and attempts to negotiate a ceasefire. Here’s a timeline of some of the key moments over the past seven months in the search for peace.

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