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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid