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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora