Conflict & Justice

Israel-Hamas cease-fire holding so far


Hamas police officers embrace after their return to their destroyed Al-Saraya headquarters in Gaza City on November 22, 2012, a day after a cease fire was declared between Israel and Hamas. An Egypt-brokered truce took hold in the Gaza Strip after a week of bitter fighting between militant groups and Israel, with both sides claiming victory but remaining wary.



The cease-fire in Gaza appears to be holding, the morning after Israel and Hamas agreed to a truce.

The Israeli military said at least three rockets had been fired from Gaza since the deal came into effect at 9 p.m. last night, the BBC reported.

Yet Israel did not respond and there has been no fire from either direction since midnight, the Israeli Defense Forces said.

Today has been declared a public holiday in Gaza, according to Al Jazeera, in celebration of what the Hamas government is calling a "victory."

Crowds of people celebrated in the streets of Gaza City.

In an unusual sign of unity both Hamas and Fatah flags were on display, Reuters reporters said, even though the rival Palestinian party was not part of the peace negotiations in Egypt that produced the agreement.

Elsewhere in Gaza, residents tried to return to normal life after eight days of fighting. As people began to clear the rubble left by air strikes, mosque loudspeakers resumed their calls to prayers, stores and cafes reopened, traffic jams returned and fishermen were back at sea, the Guardian reported.

More from GlobalPost: Roots of Gaza conflict run deep

In Israel, the BBC said there had been some protests against the cease-fire, as demonstrators denounced "agreements with terrorists." According to a snap poll for Israeli TV cited by the Guardian, 70 percent of Israelis said they opposed the deal.

Both sides have threatened to retaliate if they believe the other side has violated the truce.

Writing before last night's cease-fire, GlobalPost's correspondent Erin Cunningham said that many people in Gaza feared a truce would offer only temporary respite from decades of conflict.

Analysts say short-term gains, including the easing of Israel's Gaza blockade, "will eventually be overshadowed by the chronic, unaddressed ills of the long-running conflict between Israelis and Palestinians," Cunningham wrote.

The past week's conflict killed 158 people in Gaza, 103 of them civilians, according to provisional figures from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Six Israelis were killed, four of them civilians and two troops, including one soldier who died of his injuries today.