News / Middle East

    Israel, Hamas Both Claim Victory in Gaza Cease-fire

    Palestinians return to their homes in Gaza City’s Shijaiyah neighborhood Aug. 27, 2014.
    Palestinians return to their homes in Gaza City’s Shijaiyah neighborhood Aug. 27, 2014.
    VOA News

    Israel and Hamas are both claiming victory in the 50-day Gaza war as a new cease-fire took hold Wednesday.

    Liran Dan, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that tunnels used by the Hamas militants to sneak into Israel for attacks had been destroyed. And he said Hamas, which controls Gaza, failed in its effort to end a blockade of the Palestinian enclave along the Mediterranean and to open a seaport and airport for the war-ravaged territory.

    Hamas said it killed 64 Israeli soldiers during the conflict, the Jewish state's heaviest military loss since 2006. Five civilians also died. Israeli airstrikes into Gaza killed more than 2,100 Palestinians – mostly civilians, but also key Hamas leaders. 

    Gaza: Humanitarian concerns, U.N.Gaza: Humanitarian concerns, U.N.
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    Gaza: Humanitarian concerns, U.N.
    Gaza: Humanitarian concerns, U.N.

    Other analysts offered a measured view of the outcome. A headline in the Israeli newspaper Maariv called it "A draw."  Others said the warring sides agreed Tuesday to the open-ended cease-fire because they were exhausted by the fighting.

    Since the conflict began July 8, Hamas launched hundreds of missiles into Israel and the Israeli forces bombarded Gaza with massive airstrikes that left many neighborhoods in towering piles of concrete rubble.

    But the key demands by the two sides were left unresolved, subject to further negotiations at Egypt-sponsored talks in Cairo in the coming weeks. Israel is demanding that Hamas be disarmed, while the Palestinians want an end to the extensive Israeli blockade of Gaza and the opening of the seaport and airport.

    Noga and Moshiko Siho pose for wedding photos in an Israeli army staging area on the border near Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, Aug. 27, 2014.Noga and Moshiko Siho pose for wedding photos in an Israeli army staging area on the border near Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, Aug. 27, 2014.
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    Noga and Moshiko Siho pose for wedding photos in an Israeli army staging area on the border near Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, Aug. 27, 2014.
    Noga and Moshiko Siho pose for wedding photos in an Israeli army staging area on the border near Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, Aug. 27, 2014.

    As part of the cease-fire, Israel agreed to allow humanitarian aid and construction materials into Gaza, to assist its recovery, and to widen the territory's offshore fishing zone.

    Calm descends, stores reopen

    The skies over Gaza were quiet Wednesday, with the Israeli military reporting no rocket attacks from Gaza and no airstrikes by its forces on the Palestinian territory. Shops reopened, farmers returned to their fields near the Israeli border and a sense of normalcy took hold as thousands of Gaza residents gathered their belongings at United Nations shelters and returned to their neighborhoods.

    One Gaza shop owner, Ahmed Kharwat, said the coming negotiations must bring a lasting peace.

    "We don't want to go through war every year or two, or even four," Kharwat said. "They need to find a real solution so that we can live and work. As you see, after we rebuilt, war came. Two years later, everything is destroyed again."

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon both welcomed the cease-fire and expressed hope that Israel and the Palestinians can move toward making progress on a wider peace effort.

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    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 27, 2014 2:30 PM
    Even though Hamas lost more than 2000 lives in Gaza, I think it is the real winner, because it has controlled the proceedings all through the fight, when to cease fire and when not to cease fire, the media was turned on its finger tips, diplomacy was at its call and beckon, it sneezed and Israel caught cold. Yes, Hamas is the winner even if its population reduced from 1,800,000 to 1,798,000, because it has won more concessions like more chances of bringing into Gaza more lethal weapons in addition to its stockpile of missiles, rockets and grenade that are left over from the just concluded umpteenth conflagration.

    Hamas is the winner because it lives to fight again in no distant future after Israel failed to take advantage of regional longing to have it defeated once and for all time so as to concentrate efforts at containing ISIS, the new trouble in the military horizon, like ebola virus in West Africa is the latest threat to humanity on the globe. Hamas is the winner because, unlike its predecessors it killed 64 IDF soldiers and was hungry for more until Israel resorted to aerial campaign. Hamas is the winner because it has opened Israeli army up to military caricature of the century, never to be feared or dreaded any more in the region or anywhere else. For that singular revelation, I think ISIS will be ready to crown Hamas the new king of the jungle.
    In Response

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    August 27, 2014 6:22 PM
    Both Israel and Hamas are shamefully losers over the war they fought on for the past two months. Both engaged the war in a cowardly way: Israel, supposedly a responsible nation, did exactly what Hamas wanted them to do by bombarding mercilessly women and children from safe distance. While the barbarous Hamas continued throwing useless rockets into Israel just to provoke Israel army to kill more civilians in Gaza.
    Both Israel and Hamas authorities equally committed war crimes and both of them should be brought to justice.

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