Despite the collapse of nearly a dozen previous ceasefires due to Gaza attacks, it appears the latest agreement between Israel and Hamas is going to hold based on the reactions it is receiving. Israel has outlined a list of clauses to the ceasefire, demonstrating its similarity to the original one Hamas rejected, while Hamas is trying to claim victory after taking a series of heavy blows from Israel.
Israeli spokesman Ofir Gendelman’s Twitter feed said Israel accepted the “open ended” ceasefire, which “does not mention Hamas’ preconditions” of a seaport, airport, release of prisoners or transfer of funds. “Hamas gave in & accepted today the same Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire it rejected until now. The reason for the change: IDF’s airstrikes,” tweeted Gendelman.
Gendelman said that Hamas had been dealt “the hardest military blow it received since the foundation of this terrorist organization.” Dozens of terror tunnels leading into Israel were destroyed, multiple Hamas senior officials were killed, and Gendelman said that even unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) “were shot down.”
The details of the ceasefire didn’t stop Hamas from claiming it’s own victory. Egypt’s Ahram Online reported that a Hamas spokesperson told them that they had held back the Israeli military. Ahram Online reported that reconstruction supplies would enter Gaza.
Gendelman slammed the Hamas victory speeches. “Hamas’s fictitious declarations of victory won’t mask the stinging public criticism for the suffering it caused among the people of Gaza,” he tweeted.
The United States was very supportive of the ceasefire deal, with US Secretary of State John Kerry saying in a press release from the State Department, “We hope very much that this cease-fire will prove to be durable and sustainable, that it will put an end to rocket and mortar attacks, and that it will help to bring about an enduring end to the conflict in Gaza.”
Kerry also clarified that they would participate in the rebuilding of Gaza. “We are also prepared to work with our international partners on a major reconstruction initiative, with appropriate measures in place to ensure that this is for the benefit of the civilian population in Gaza, not Hamas and other terrorist organizations. We look forward to coordinating closely with President [Mahmoud] Abbas and the Palestinian Authority on these critical efforts.”
Kerry underscored some of Israel’s hopes following seven weeks of off and on fighting. “Israelis have to be able to live in peace and security, without terrorist attacks, without rockets, without tunnels, without sirens going off and families scrambling to bomb shelters.”
That hasn’t been true in a while. It remains to be seen if it stays the case now.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 26, 2014)