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With One Eye on Syria, Israel Reluctantly Seeks Gaza Truce

  • Prospect of Iran on northern border outweighs Hamas threat
  • Talks could lead to years-long truce, economic opening

As public pressure mounts on Israeli leaders to crush rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip, they’re opting to try the diplomatic route while a greater threat looms: Iran’s presence in postwar Syria.

To keep his military focused on the northern front, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pursuing a long-term truce with Hamas, the militant group that rules the Gaza Strip. Yaakov Amidror, a former Israeli national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the negotiations, carried out through intermediaries, serve both Israel and Hamas.