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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid