News / Middle East

    Israelis Skeptical as Gaza Cease-Fire Takes Hold

    Israelis hold signs and flags as they protest the cease-fire in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Malachi, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.Israelis hold signs and flags as they protest the cease-fire in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Malachi, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.
    x
    Israelis hold signs and flags as they protest the cease-fire in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Malachi, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.
    Israelis hold signs and flags as they protest the cease-fire in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Malachi, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.
    Robert Berger
    A cease-fire that ended eight days of deadly fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza is taking hold. But expectations in Israel are low.

    Work crews are cleaning up debris in Southern Israel after dozens of homes and businesses were damaged in Palestinian rockets. Traffic is back on the streets, shops are reopening and Israelis are assessing the damage.

    There is a sense of relief that the rocket attacks are over, but also a sense of skepticism that the cease-fire will last. Rifka Carmi is president of Ben-Gurion University in Southern Israel, which was shut down during the fighting.

    “This is very frustrating that after so many years, we still endure this kind of difficulties in actually maintaining and preserving our normal life. However, this is our fate here in this country in general, and we cannot ignore the fact that we still are fighting for our lives here," he said. 

    Story Continues Below
    • 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.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the people of Southern Israel for remaining steadfast during eight days of Palestinian rocket attacks. He also thanked the police and home front command for a job well done during the Gaza war.

    Netanyahu declared the Israeli offensive a success, saying Israel dealt a painful blow to Hamas, destroying thousands of rockets and killing many “terrorist commanders.”

    Hamas is also declaring victory, and it says the ball is in Israel's court. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said that if Israel complies with the cease-fire, the Palestinians will also comply. If not, Meshaal said, "our hands are on the trigger."

    Israel’s hands are also on the trigger. Netanyahu warned that if rocket attacks resume, Israel is prepared for a ground assault on Gaza.

    So Israelis see the cease-fire as a reprieve, not a solution: They figure that it is just a matter of time before Hamas rearms for the next round of conflict. 

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: beefrits from: Arizona, USA
    November 22, 2012 2:22 PM
    Anyone who thinks that this is more than a temporary pause in the cycle of violence is fooling himself. Israel is surrounded by sworn enemies who will not even acknowledge their right to exist. Until the Palestinians disarm and stop the attacks, peace is impossible.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    November 22, 2012 5:09 PM
    Until Israel acknowledges Palestine's right to exist, peace is impossible.

    by: jdcarmine from: pittsburgh
    November 22, 2012 2:15 PM
    It is a virtual certainty that Hamas will incite a ground war with. Iran wants it, and they need Iran. The Hamas proxy army for Iran will gladly sacrifice their own children and mothers and elementary schools and hospitals to evoke international sympathy. Hamas should be indicted as an organization that promotes crimes against humanity, particularly heinous since it is against their own people.
    In Response

    by: Fernandez from: South Africa
    November 23, 2012 9:35 AM
    The Palestinians should do whatever necesary to liberate themselves from this unjust evil, the world stood up for South-Africa during apatheid regime, why is it so hard for everyone to understand that Isreal is wrong to occupy land of the Arabs.I support every means of Palestinian resistance and an unjust law is no law for this population.They must be liberated even if it means the 3rd world war because this atrocity is a direct result of past wars. Britain and USA is the countries to be blamed here and the world must stand up against this imperialism and support for Isreal. I dont like Isreal..POINT.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora