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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hamas and Israel have agreed a long-term truce in Gaza

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas during the talks in Cairo
After 50 days of war in Gaza Israeli Operation Protective Edge reached its end as Israel, Palestine and Hamas, which is de fact ruling Gaza Strip, have agreed on a long-term ceasefire proposed by Egypt.

The truce ending seven weeks of a terrible war came into effect on Tuesday, 26 August, at 19:00 local time. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who attended Egyptian capital Cairo for the talks several times and traveled around Middle East seeking for support of the Arab countries in order to resolve the deepening crisis in Gaza, has announced about the long-term agreement with Israel in Ramallah, on Tuesday. Israeli Cabinet has announced about the beginning of a ceasefire later as well.

The long-term ceasefire deal allows partial opening of the borders of Gaza Strip, which will allow delivering humanitarian aid and construction materials into Gaza to help people to rebuild their homes and infrastructure of the Gaza cities. Thus, Israel is to ease its blockade of Gaza. Egypt in its turn is expected to also reopen its border crossing in Rafah.

Hamas representatives have already declared the current long-term ceasefire being a victory of Hamas and of resistance, although the demands and conditions of Hamas were not met yet.

Next round of the peace talks between Israel, Palestine and Hamas are expected to start in Cairo within the next month. The negotiations will be held regarding the further development of the relations between the neighboring countries, regarding the peaceful solution of an Israeli-Palestinian conflict and regarding lifting Gaza blockade. The issue of reopening of Gaza international airport and seaport will be also discussed during the upcoming talks. In addition to that Israel is expected to release 100 Palestinian and Hamas prisoners who had to be freed in the frameworks of Gilad Shalit deal.

Destroyed streets of the cities of Gaza
(Image: Telegraph)
Israel in its turn demands the guarantees of demilitarizing of Gaza and of preventing smuggling the weapons in and out of Gaza.

Thus, the long-term ceasefire agreement was finally reached in Gaza, what brought relief not only to Palestinians but to Israelis as well. Egypt in its turn will continue its diplomatic efforts and continues supporting the cause of the negotiations between the sides.

The ceasefire agreement was also welcomed and praised by US government, EU and UN.
There were already several ceasefire agreements reached between Israel and Hamas, but all of them were broken very fast, and the war resumed. The latest ceasefire was broken on 19 August, and nearly 120 people have been killed in the Israeli aerial and tank attacks. Israeli child was also killed during one of the rockets attacks of Hamas.

The 2014 Gaza war has left nearly 2,138 people dead, mostly civilians. UN reported earlier that nearly 500 children were among those killed by the Israeli Defense Forces since the beginning of this military operation. There are also thousands wounded, according to the UN and Gaza Health Ministry information. Tens of thousands of Palestinians appeared to be displaced and were forced to flee their homes. Gaza’s cities are destroyed, their infrastructure was terribly damaged, so there will be many time and efforts needed in order to restore the normal life. But the achievements of the long-term agreement and the upcoming talks in Cairo bring more hope for better life of Palestinians of Gaza and for lifting the Israeli blockade as well.

Israeli in its turn has lost 68 people, most of them soldiers.