The fishermen offer one perspective on where this process stands. For this hardened lot, peace is measured by the size of the fish and their degree of freedom to fish the Mediterranean.
During the worst of the Palestinian-Israeli violence, the Israeli army imposed restrictions to keep Palestinian boats away from Jewish settlements and from venturing far from shore, where it was feared they might pick up weapons from other vessels. For two months, the army banned fishermen from going out at all. The restrictions have been gradually eased - from an offshore fishing limit of three miles, to six miles and now 10. The fishermen would like to have 12.
In the Gaza port, several generations of fishermen huddle under makeshift tents to take shelter from the summer sun and rest from a night of being on the water and a morning unloading their catch.
Others fix the rusted hulls of their boats, carting materials and tools on donkey carts that plod through soft sand and wade into the murky water to keep cool. They share stories of boats seized by the Israelis, of shots fired across their bows, of being arrested for steering beyond the buoys that mark their boundaries, a floating version of an army checkpoint.
Those stories are now told in the past tense - the last confrontation with the Israelis was four months ago - and talk has turned again to the sea.
Awad Saedi is a 36-year-old teacher and accountant. Fifteen years ago, when he couldn't find a job, he joined his brothers in the family fishing business.
They poured their life savings - $35,000 - into a 45-foot boat called Prince Moneer - named for a brother who died during the first Palestinian uprising. This week, Saedi was squatting in the sand and used his finger to draw a box representing the restrictions Israel imposes on his job.
With a three-mile limit, he said, "there is nothing." At six miles, the nets catch sardines, which sell for only a few pennies a pound. At nine miles, the sea turns up small squid and shrimp - appetizers.
Farther out comes the dinner course: sea bass and tuna. Saedi smiled, showing yellowed, broken teeth, as his thoughts drifted further out to sea. "Ten miles," he said, pausing as he thought about it. "This is heaven." Then his eyes lit up as the almost unimaginable next step, and the potential bounty, came to mind. "Twelve miles - my God."
Saedi said he senses change. The cease-fire, he said, "is better for us. This is a chance for both sides to think. We want peace, but we also want a better future. We're not there yet.
"If politics go well, fishing goes well.