Israel and Gaza have finally agreed on a truce marking the end of 11 days of the Hamas-Israeli conflict. The ceasefire took effect early Friday morning, barely a week after Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel had no plans to stop attacks on Hamas. Pressure from the international community had been mounting coupled with mediation efforts from Egypt, Qatar and the UN forced him to change tune.
Violence between Gaza and Israel started after days of mounting tension in Israel that culminated in the Al-Aqsa mosque attack which prompted Hamas to launch rockets on Israel. Reports from Israel indicate that Hamas launched over 4000 rockets towards Israel during the conflict. Unfortunately, Palestinians have suffered the most in the period of the conflict.
According to health officials in Gaza, over 230 people, including 100 women and children, died while over 1900 people were injured. Gaza has also lost millions in the destruction of property that saw many people displaced from their homes. In Israel, government authorities put the number of fatalities at 12 including 2 children.
Both Hamas and Israel have claimed victory in the fighting. In a post on Twitter, Israeli defence minister, Benny Gantz, claimed that the war had “unprecedented military gains”.
Hamas on the other hand, through the spokesperson of its armed wing Abu Ubaida, claimed that “With the help of God, we were able to humiliate the enemy, its fragile entity and its savage army."
Nevertheless, the ceasefire is still shaky as Hamas claim that their ‘hands are still on the trigger’ if Israel should violate any of the agreements of the ceasefire.
Various leaders have reacted to news of the ceasefire. US President Joe Biden, who had earlier called for de-escalation of the conflict, commended Israel and promised that his government would help Gaza in its rebuilding efforts.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt expressed happiness that the mediation efforts worked while Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysian foreign minister, asked the international community to now focus on humanitarian and reconstruction aid for the Palestinian people in Gaza.
Featured Image: Palestinians celebrate after the ceasefire (Photo by Mahmud Hams/AFP)