After 11 days of consistent fiercely battle in besieged Ghaza strip, both Israel and Hamas came to terms with the ceasefire agreement on last night, negotiated by Egypt. It is officially announced from the cabinet office of Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that it voted unanimously in favour of a “mutual and unconditional” Ghaza truce. However, the complete implementation of ceasefire is yet to be enforced. Hamas, the ruling group of Ghaza and Pleastine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) assured it would begin at 2am on Friday (23:00 GMT Thursday).
The development came amid growing worldwide pressure that US President Joe Biden urging Netanyahu to seek de-escalation and mediation bids by Egypt, Qatar and United Nations. UN Chief António Guterres immediately welcomed the ceasefire as it would conclude one of the most fiercest fighting in Ghaza since 2014 which already took the innocent lives of 232 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women and more than 1900 of civilians are expected to be left wounded. On the other hand death toll in Israel counted at 12 and more than hundreds of people are severely injured in bombardment.
On May 10, an Israeli police crackdown on protesters at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem followed by the forced expulsion of several Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood triggered the unrest which resulted in brief but intense war of 11 days as a consequence. Israel denied to withdraw its forces from Sheikh Jarrah within the deadline set by Hamas and that made PIJ group start bombing at Jerusalem for the first time in years. In reply to which Israeli airstrike also erupted in Ghaza shortly, causing vicious devastation with the demolition of 17 medical facilities, number of buildings and the only Covid-19 testing facility of Ghaza.
The hostility between these two regions is nothing new. Ghaza strip must be worn out witnessing the perpetual growing tension in the territories since the foundation of Israel in 1948 and the exodus of uncountable number of Palestinians from their homeland. So many battles already took place in the past but it has never been enough to buffer the malice and go for a permanent two-state solution to make way for peace. The most powerful countries around the world almost silenced themselves over the issue rather they seem to be quite more interested in expanding their arm industry. This time more than thousands of Palestinians harmed by Israeli airstrikes when Israeli lives were saved even after launching around 4300 rockets by Hamas because of the presence of anti-missile iron dome defense system, partly funded by US’s military aid to Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu also thanked US President Joe Biden for America’s constant support towards them.
Post ceasefire announcement both Israel and Hamas have claimed victory on Thursday. Netanyahu boated about the achievements of the Israeli Defence Forces and claimed to have killed at least 160 combatants of Hamas and PIJ, the groups that are designated as terrorist organisations by Israel, US, EU and several other countries. But he did not present any evident details neither of the achievements nor the damages caused to the groups. He boastfully declared, “Israel would never tolerate a barrage of rockets fired on its cities and that IDF has taught Hamas a lesson. What happened in the past is not what will be.” But what the question remains is if this military action would stop Hamas from attacking Israeli cities again. Instead, they showed tremendous improvement in the range and quality of its rockets even though they are produced locally.
The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas does not approve Hamas’s militant approach but today he too blamed Israel’s policy of provocation, attacks and effort to prolong the tension between the two countries. He condemned Israeli police force for firing on people at Al-Aqsa mosque premises even after the ceasefire was announced. According to him, it is Israel who is challenging international efforts that endeavours to restore peace in Jerusalem and the occupied Palestine.
It is obvious that the recent 11 days of bloodshed came to an conclusion with this ceasefire agreement. But without the implementation of a two-state solution, we cannot call it a permanent end of the long-time war. It is high time for both the countries to come to a mutual understanding and accommodate mutual demands as well. However, as long as it doesn’t take place, all the ceasefire agreements like today are merely to be considered as some makeshift treaties.