Last updated: February 19. 2013 7:05PM - 143 Views

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AFTER THE EVENTS of this month, there is a need to ensure that the cessation in the conflict over Gaza between Israel and Hamas is based on a durable agreement that will give peace more than just a passing chance.

The lessons of the last Gaza war, fought over 22 days between December 2008 and January 2009 amid even greater controversy, must not be forgotten. Then, responding to international pressure, Israel unilaterally withdrew, claiming to have achieved its objectives, while Hamas announced its own ceasefire. The terrorists' pledge endured only a few days. After that, they were back in business with their cross-border rocket, mortar and missile assaults on Israeli civilian centers.

The current conflict is an inevitable consequence of that failure to secure an enduring ceasefire.

It's hard to be optimistic about the prospects for a sustainable truce. That is why Israel must pin down Hamas to an enforceable deal – a genuine, durable peace grounded in reality, not the fantasy world of Hamas and its apologists.

The Australian, Sydney

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