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Israel Gaza Ceasefire

November 22, 2012 by  

Israel Gaza Ceasefire, A ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians appeared to be holding on Thursday after eight days of fighting in the Gaza Strip that claimed more than 160 lives. Several rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel shortly after the ceasefire came into force late on Wednesday, according to Israeli police, but there were no casualties and no sign of an Israeli response.

Under the truce, which will be guaranteed by Egypt on the Palestinian side, Israel agreed to “stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip by land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals”. In exchange it committed “all Palestinian factions” to “stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border”.

Gazans awoke to discover the ceasefire had survived its first few hours. The mosque loudspeakers, largely silenced over the past week of fighting, resumed their dawn calls to prayer.

The area’s diminished and struggling fishing fleet once again put to sea, albeit under the watch of Israeli gunboats and constrained by tight restrictions on where they can work.

Gaza City’s notorious traffic jams once again began to build as Palestinians returned to work, or to clean up the wreckage of their shops and businesses. Convenience stores and cafes pulled up the shutters for the first time in a week.

But the incessant buzz of the Israeli drones, like an annoying unseen insect, is a constant reminder that a halt to the rockets is not an end to conflict.

Leaders on both sides were quick to claim victory. Khaled Meshaal, the exiled leader of Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, said at a press conference in Cairo that Israel had “failed in its adventure” when it launched attacks on Gaza and had been forced to accept Palestinian terms.

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said Israel had destroyed thousands of missiles as well as Hamas installations.

The conflict has claimed the lives of at least 161 Palestinians, including dozens of civilians, while five Israelis died.

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