Middle East truce?

I guess we'll know for sure tomorrow, but here is the hot off the press news:

Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed a truce to end more than four years of fighting, both sides confirmed today.

Negotiators from both sides finalised the agreement during last-minute preparations for tomorrow's summit meeting between the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

"The most important thing at the summit will be a mutual declaration of cessation of violence against each other," said Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian negotiator. An Israeli government official, speaking to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, confirmed the agreement, adding that the deal would also include an end to Palestinian incitement.

So have Hamas and Islamic Jihad really agreed to a final hudna? If so, for how long? And will this mean the Israelis will refrain from bulldozing houses, confiscating land and other measures?

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.