Gaza truce takes hold; new era in Hamas-Israel ties?
Gaza Strip: After a week of intense cross border fighting between Israel and Hamas, an Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire in Gaza remained almost unviolated on Thursday, raising the hopes of a positive era in relations between the two conflicting sides.
Gazan streets were packed with the merry-makers jubilant over the news of ceasefire yesterday night.
The ceasefire would see both sides negotiate a deal that would open the borders of the blockaded Palestinian territory. But the agreement doesn’t seem to ensure a long-lived ceasefire given the vague language used in the deal and deep hostility between the two.
Israel started pounding Gaza with airstrikes on November 14 to stop rockets from the Hamas militants. A total of 1500 strikes rattled Gaza Strip, killing 161 Palestinians, including 71 civilians, and five Israelis.
Despite the high human cost, Hamas claimed victory Thursday.
"The masses that took to the streets last night to celebrate sent a message to all the world that Gaza can`t be defeated," said a spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri.
The UN Security Council has called on Israel and Hamas to uphold the agreement, brokered by Egypt.
The ceasefire was hailed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and top leaders of the European Union, with Ban recommending humanitarian aid for Gaza strip.
"Our focus now must be on ensuring the ceasefire holds and that all those in need in Gaza - and there are many - receive the humanitarian assistance they need," Ban said. The two sides are now to negotiate a deal that would open the borders of the blockaded Palestinian territory.
Even though the future of ceasefire doesn’t look too bright, but it has for now put on hold Israel’s plan of ground offensive on Gaza, preventing the situation to worsen.
With Agency Inputs
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