A truce has been reached between Israel and Hamas, ending a week of fighting which cost the lives of at least 155 Palestinians and five Israelis.
The violence between Israel and Gaza flared after Israeli drones targeted and killed a Hamas military chief on November 14, marking the start of cross-border exchange of fire. Gaza militants fired rockets into Israel, which bombarded Gaza from land, air and sea.
According to the ceasefire, brokered by Egypt, Israel will stop all hostilities against Gaza, which will end “rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.” If this truce holds for the next 24 hours, Israel would have to start procedures to end the Gaza blockade by opening border crossings and allowing the movement of people and goods.
Online, anticipation has been building up for the declaration of a ceasefire.
Andy Carvin notes:
@acarvin: Apart from new year's, I don't think I've ever seen so many people tweet what time it is. #gaza #ceasefire
While Iyad El_Baghdadi remarks:
@iyad_elbaghdadi: 9:08 local time, explosions still being heard in #Gaza, sirens still being sounded in #Israel.
Soon, the sound of celebratory gunfire filled the air in Gaza.
On Audioboo, BBC Middle East Bureau Chief Paul Danahar, who is in Gaza, shares a sound track:
Nayef describes the scene:
@TheNElectric: Gaza streets are full of celebrations. Satisfaction, pride & glory are drawn all over Gazans faces
While Majed Abusalama notes:
@MajedAbusalama: We do not trust #Israel but we can enjoy this moment of #Peace. in #Gaza people are so strong, I really #love them. #resistance
Egyptian Mostafa Hussein jokes:
@moftasa: Congratulations Bibi. You made Khamas stronger.
Shadi Hamid tweets:
@shadihamid: So Hamas got: greater regional legitimacy, spike in popularity, end of assassinations, easing flow of goods into Gaza & a weaker PA to boot.
@shadihamid: In asymmetric battles such as this one, it's very hard for a group like Hamas to ever actually “lose,” as long as it survives.
Israeli Elizabeth Tsurkov says:
@Elizabeth: Bibi kept talking about weakening Hamas and removing them from power for years, and this agreement solidifies their rule
Lauren E. Bohn, who is in Jerusalem, adds:
@LaurenBohn: Talking to handful of #Israel analysts who all say #Hamas came out of this a winner: more international recognition + credibility #Gaza
And journalist Gregg Carlstrom tweets:
@glcarlstrom: My Twitter feed variously informs me that the real winners today are Israel, Hamas, Egypt, the US and Iran. (but everyone agrees Abbas lost)
Praise for Egypt
On Twitter, Palestinians heaped praise on Egypt, for its role in mediating a ceasefire.
Yaser Alzaatreh writes [ar]:
مصر رئيسا وحكومة وشعبا كانت معنا. وقفت دون تردد. صرخ الصهاينة ألما من وقفتها. عادت مصر إلينا وعدنا إليها، فهي قائدة العرب وعنوان عزتهم.
@YZaatreh: Egypt, its President and people, were with us. They did not hesitate in supporting us. Their stance hurt the Zionists. Egypt has returned to us and we have returned to it. Egypt is the leader of Arabs and the sign of their pride.
And, from Gaza, Ola Anan adds:
من كل قلبي .. شكرا مصر :)
@olanan: From the bottom of my heart, thank you Egypt!!
For many, the ceasefire is a welcome relief.
Karen Knox, from Tel Aviv, tweets:
@KarenAbroad: So thankful for #ceasefire tonight as I tuck my little girl into bed here in #TelAviv.
But many are left wondering how long the peace between Gaza and Israel will last for.
Palestinian Hasan Karajah says:
البعض سيذهبون لشرب نخب الانتصار بعد تعبهم في كتابة التغريدات و رجال المقاومة يكونوا في اجتماع الان لوضع خطة الضرب القادمة #المقاومة_مستمرة
@hasankarajah: Some will go to drink to victory after they got exhausted from writing tweets but the men of the resistance movement will be meeting now to draw up a plan for the next strike. The resistance continues.
And, from Israel, Tsurkov adds:
@Elizrael: In 20min the post on Bibi's official fb page on the cease-fire got 1,344 responses. Overwhelming majority is negative http://on.fb.me/TcsAc1
Brothers and Sisters,
much strife and seeming complexity regarding peace and brotherhood among all of
us in the world. There are many, who believe they have the right answer and are
militant to impose their “right” answer on all. They seem to forget the
earliest message of our holy scriptures, whether the Koran, the Bible or the
Thora, namely that each of us, within our hearts, have been provided with the
spirit and love of the Father of us all. This was revealed to our common
earthly father, Adam, who understood this in his heart before the writing of any
scripture. Each of us have access to this fundamental truth, whether Muslim,
Christian, Jew and also our fellow human beings, who have not had the good and fortunate
access to the teachings. When we pray, we pray to our Father, present and
living within in hearts of each of us. The secret to the peace and brotherhood
we all yearn for is to see the presence of our Father in each of us and to love
each other as our Father loves us. Within this context, the actions required to
address the problems of our contemporary times will not seem insurmountable.
“We have sent by inspiration to you as We commended
to Abraham, Moses and Jesus, namely that you should be steadfast in religion
and make no divisions therein… Allah is our Lord and your Lord… there is no
contention between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is our Homecoming.”
(Sura 42.13 – 15)
to our Father is through the Christian teaching, neither less nor more
important than the teachings of Abraham or Mohammad. It is the Christmas
season, a time when Christians celebrate the love of the Father for and within
us all. I give you the following teaching of the Apostle Paul and invite you,
whether Muslim, Christian, Jew or a brother seeking access to our Father, to
live this teaching within your life:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels,
but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and
all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have
love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor
and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not
envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not
dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no
record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but
rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always
trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”