A cease fire to the recent 8-days of airstrikes between Hamas’ Gaza and Israel was mediated by Egypt and brought the fighting to an end on Thursday. Prior to the Ceasefire…
Prior to the ceasefire, while negotiations were taking place, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted this on his Facebook blog: “I realize that there are citizens who expect a harsher military action and we may very well need to do that. But at present, the right thing for the State of Israel is to exhaust this possibility of reaching a long-term cease-fire. As Prime Minister, I have the responsibility, and it is the highest responsibility, to make the right steps to ensure our security. That is what I have done and it is what I will continue to do.”
Analysts are still weighing who won and who lost in this conflict. Consider these facts:
- Israel targeted and killed Hamas’ military leader, Ahmed al-Jaabari.
- Israel launched hundred of airstrikes in return on Gaza
- Israel employed the “Iron Dome” defense shield that deflected many Hamas rockets from hitting Israeli civilians, with a 90% success rate.
- Israel destroyed Hamas tunnels used to smuggle weapons
- 6 Israelis, two soldiers and four civilians were killed with dozens wounded by rockets fired into residential neighborhoods.
- Deaths and destruction in Gaza, but Islamist political movement that rules the territory feels they have emerged “emboldened from this conflict and its truce.”
- 161 Palestinians were killed, 71 of which were civilians
- 840 were injured, including 225 children
- Hamas claims they have gained more legitimacy and are stronger
- Hamas attacked Israel more boldly than ever before and fired rockets further than ever before. (They hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem).
- The 8-day war brought the Islamists unprecedented political recognition, with foreign ministers from Turkey and several Arab states visiting — a sharp contrast to Hamas' past isolation
- President Mohamed Morsy navigated through political minefields to bring negotiations to the table and bring about a cease-fire truce between Israel and Hamas.
The Cease Fire Issues…
- Israel and all Palestinian militant groups agreed to halt "all hostilities." For the Palestinians, that means an end to Israeli airstrikes and assassinations of wanted militants. For Israel, it brings a halt to rocket fire and attempts at cross-border incursions from Gaza.
- Israel demanded an end to weapons smuggling into Gaza through tunnels under borders with Egypt.
- Hamas demanded opening up the blockade on Gaza for a freer flow of goods and people.
- Israel asked for international guarantees that Hamas will not rearm or use Egypt’s Sinai region to attack Israel.
- Egypt will play a key role. It said "Egypt shall receive assurances from each party" that they are committed to the deal.
While Israel says they inflicted some heavy damage on the Hamas militants, Hamas rulers claim a victory. Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniveh of Hamas claims “The option of invading Gaza after this victory is gone and will never return.” Israel, as usual, just wants peace in their land and it looks like, temporarily, they will have it. In the Middle East a “cease fire” is just the period of time between wars.