News / Middle East

Gaza and Israel Calm as Cease-fire Holds

After eight days of conflict, Palestinians rally in celebration of what they describe as a victory over Israel, Gaza City, Nov. 22, 2012.
After eight days of conflict, Palestinians rally in celebration of what they describe as a victory over Israel, Gaza City, Nov. 22, 2012.
VOA News
A cease-fire that halted eight days of deadly fighting between Israel and Hamas held firm Thursday as thousands of flag-waving Gaza residents poured into the streets, while in Israel the mood was more subdued.

The Israeli-Palestinian Cease-fire Deal

  • Israeli and Palestinian militants agree to end all hostilities.
  • For Israel that includes attacks by land, sea, and air, and operations targeting individuals.
  • For Palestinian factions in Gaza that includes rocket and border attacks.
  • After 24 hours, crossings into Gaza are to be opened and the movement of people and goods is to be allowed.
Following a night of quiet skies after an Egyptian-brokered truce deal came into effect, Gaza's Hamas prime minister hailed the territory's multiple militant groups for respecting the cease-fire.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government was "giving the truce a chance" but was prepared for the eventuality it could collapse. As a precaution, schools stayed closed in southern Israel, where nerves were on edge after a constant rain of rockets during the most serious Israeli-Palestinian fighting in four years.

With Israel and the Hamas militants who run the Gaza Strip having successfully maintained peace for a 24-hour period, border areas from Gaza will be opened, allowing people and goods to move in and out of the territory.

The Egyptian-brokered truce took effect at 1900 GMT Wednesday.

In the occupied West Bank, Israel's army said Thursday it arrested 55 suspected senior-level Palestinian militants it said were members of various armed factions.


Photo Gallery

  • Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh waves to people as they celebrate what they say is a victory over Israel after an eight-day conflict, Gaza City, November 22, 2012.
  • Hamas militants carry the bodies of their comrades, who medics said were killed in Israeli air strikes on Wednesday, during their funeral in the central Gaza Strip, November 22, 2012.
  • Hassidic Jewish men from the Breslov sect dance near Kibbutz Yad Mordechai outside the northern Gaza Strip, November 22, 2012.
  • Israeli soldiers, atop a tank, prepare to leave their Gaza border position at sun rise, November 22, 2012.
  • Israeli soldiers rest at a staging area outside the northern Gaza Strip, Nov. 21, 2012.
  • After eight days of conflict Palestinian gunmen hold aloft an image of Hamas military chief Ahmed Jaabari, who was killed by an Israeli air strike, Gaza City, Nov. 21, 2012.
  • Palestinians celebrate the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, Gaza City, Nov. 21, 2012.
  • After eight days of conflict, Palestinians celebrate Israel-Hamas cease-fire, Gaza City, Nov. 21, 2012.

Egypt is monitoring both sides for violations of the cease-fire agreement. The truce follows several days of intense aerial assaults on both sides of the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, leaving more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis dead.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a qualified welcome Thursday to the deal.

The agreement was reached amid hours of intense diplomacy involving Clinton, as well as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Clinton called the truce "a critical moment for the region.”

"The people of this region deserve a chance to live free from fear and violence and today's agreement is a step in the right direction that we should build on," said Clinton.

Clinton also praised Egypt's new government for assuming a key role in the effort and for pledging to work with Washington to ensure the cease-fire holds.

On Wednesday, a bomb blast on a bus in central Tel Aviv wounded at least 27 people, some seriously.

New rounds of missile and air attacks rained down on Gaza following the Tel Aviv attack.  Palestinians medics Wednesday said at least 10 people were killed, including a young boy.

Israel and Hamas had traded rocket fire since an Israeli missile killed Hamas's military chief in Gaza City last week.  Israel says the attack was a direct response to months of almost daily rocket fire into southern Israel from Gaza.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lomenie from: Akron
November 22, 2012 10:19 AM
Victory!!!? Do they think it is a game or what?

by: M. Mathori Munawar from: Indonesia
November 22, 2012 8:10 AM
SUPPORT summit muslem europe asia. Gratitude can includes 3 religions. Muslem, Jews & Christians to wake up the scurity & stability in the Midle East. Especially Palestina. Thank you.

by: ali baba from: new york
November 22, 2012 6:36 AM
let us straight the fact. the conflict betwwen hamas and isreal was for eight days. During thay days,houses ,building were destroyed. lives were lost. Hamas accept ceasefire because they are the losers. morsey is not the peacemaker. they know that isreal achieve its objective for punishing hamas. the arab understand the langauge of power.for example,attack of american embassy in libya would not occured whem goerge w Bush is a president.or Nicxon is ni power

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