Egypt Brokers Indefinite Gaza Ceasefire

“Indefinite Gaza Ceasefire”

As of 7 PM Tuesday, Egypt helped broker an “indefinite ceasefire” between Gaza and Israel that came at the end of 50 days of fighting, massive casualties and destruction: only 21 months after their last war. As is common in these conflicts, both sides quickly took to declare their “victory” to one degree or another. The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, is getting heat from his contemporaries for conceding to Hamas, Hamas is claiming victory, calling for celebration, while civilians and everyone else is holding their breath, hoping for peace and stability.

The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood, reporting from Jerusalem, and Hazem Balousha, in Gaza City, provided a shocking summary of the damages:

The deal follows at least eight temporary ceasefires during the course of the conflict. In Gaza more than 2,100 people have been killed, most of them civilians, including about 500 children, in the past seven weeks. At least 11,000 people were injured and more than 17,000 homes destroyed or badly damaged. Around a third of Gaza’s 1.8 million people have been displaced, many now living in United Nations shelters. Schools, hospitals, factories, farms, mosques and infrastructure such as power and water plants were hit. Reconstruction could take up to 10 years, say analysts. On the Israeli side 64 soldiers died along with six civilians including a four-year-old boy. Hundreds of families relocated from homes near the Gaza border to safer areas further north.

Israel-Gaza-map-for-web-001

The Guardian: Map of Israel-Palestine Conflict

 

The Deal

According to The Guardian, the deal brokered between Gaza and Israel looks almost the same as the one brokered during the ceasefire 21 months ago at the end of the last Israel-Palestine Conflict. What’s more, The Telegraph’s, Robert Tait, in Jerusalem (see video below) has made the startling observation that the “permanent” ceasefire Hamas has just agreed to is identical to a ceasefire offer made a month ago, which begs the question, “Why now?” The elements of the deal:

1) Israel agrees to open its borders, allowing humanitarian aid and construction materials into Gaza

2) Israel will increase Gaza’s fishing zone to 6 miles off its coast

3) The border between Egypt and Palestine will be opened

Talks will resume in a month to discuss:

1) Hama’s demands for an airport & seaport

2) Release of Palestinian prisoners

3) Israel’s call for the disarmament of militant groups & the return of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers

Source: The Guardian Photo Credit:IBTimes

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