News / Middle East

Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Stripi
X
Scott Bobb
August 27, 2014 4:51 PM
Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Scott Bobb

As an open-ended cease-fire took effect beginning Tuesday night, ending seven weeks of hostilities, Palestinians celebrated in the streets of Gaza while Israelis showed more reserve.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri hailed the truce, negotiated by Egypt, as a victory for the Palestinian cause.

"We are here today to declare that we have won over this destructive Israeli power," Abu Zuhri said. "We won, first and foremost thanks to God almighty, and, second, thanks to the resilience of our people."

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The 50-day conflict was the longest ever between Israel and Hamas. The Gaza fighting killed at least 2,137 Palestinians, many of them civilians, as well as 69 Israelis. All but five of them were soldiers.  

Skepticism remains

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev blamed the high death toll on Hamas, the group that controls Gaza.

"We hope that this time the cease-fire will stick,” Regev said, referring to several previous cease-fire agreements that collapsed within days. “And I think now that, as the dust will begin to clear, many people will be asking, why is it that today Hamas accepted the very same Egyptian framework that it rejected a month ago?"

Some Israelis welcomed the end of hostilities, but those in communities hit hard by Hamas rockets remained wary.

 "I really want to trust the cease-fire, but unfortunately we've been burned before several times," said Dafna Siboni Sasson, who lives in Kibbutz Nir Am in the country’s south. "Several times we returned here and thought [the conflict] was over and all of a sudden it happened again and fire was renewed. So we wait. Time will tell."

Bigger negotiating points

Israel wants Gaza to be demilitarized. Any cease-fire should prevent Hamas from rebuilding its network of rockets and infiltration tunnels, said Yoram Schweitzer, an analyst at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies.

Hamas "should be kept … from using this reconstruction, rehabilitation, for replenishing its rocket arsenal and for rebuilding those tunnels again," said Schweitzer, an Israeli.

Hamas wants an end to Israel's blockade of Gaza. This needs to be addressed, said Mukhaimar Abu Saada, a political science professor at Gaza’s al-Azhar University.

"If this siege is not going to be lifted completely, we are definitely going to witness another round between Hamas and Israel in the future," said the professor, a Palestinian.

Analysts noted that similar demands had not been met during previous cease-fires. As a result, they said any durable peace would depend primarily on a political agreement.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John
August 29, 2014 1:51 AM
There can be no lasting peace without justice. I know this is often mindlessly repeated as a slogan, but it is the essential issue here. If the hawks in Israel continue to insist on the blockage, then the fighting will just start again as soon as the Palestinians re-arm. But if there is a genuine reconciliation, then and only then can there be a lasting peace.


by: Anthonybellchambers from: London
August 28, 2014 3:27 AM
Netanyahu proudly claims 'victory' for his butchery of civilians in Gaza

2,101 killed in Gaza - UN estimates 70% of deaths are civilians
7 civilians killed in Israel
64 Israeli soldiers killed
Figures as of 26 Aug. Sources: PMH, OCHA, IDF

UN states that more than 17,000 buildings in Gaza have been destroyed or severely damaged, and that there are at least 475,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), more than a quarter of the territory's population.

When will those responsible be brought before the ICC on charges of war crimes?

In Response

by: Jim Young from: Indian Valley
August 28, 2014 2:10 PM
The radical Islamist's will use this pause to rearm (probably by Iran) and then resume their goal of the destruction of Israel. I lived, taught and worked for years in the middle East, I met Many wonderful people, and some whose mindset was the total destruction of all Jew's.

A question to ponder is, If they destroy Israel, who then will become the focus their hate of anyone who is different. What a waste of life and assets for no tangible results.


by: maithe from: Paris, France
August 27, 2014 5:23 PM
Another cease fire or the end of the war ??....The Egyptian Agreement" solve nothing . No clear resolution.
But in one month Hamas, P.A., Israel and others go back to Cairo to discuss the real crucial problems : demilitarization of Gaza , blocus, a seaport, an airport... In one month or so we see if it was a serious cease fire or just another and longer break...

In Response

by: Manuel Montalvo from: Oviedo, fl.
August 28, 2014 9:43 PM
There will not be any peace until the inequities cease: The occupation and the crimes, abuses and subjugation of the Palestinian people by the Zionist expansionist Israel.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid