A Truce Between Israel and the Gaza Strip?
By: Kari Giovanelli, staff writer
After more than seven weeks of fighting, Israel and the Gaza strip have finally come to an open-ended truce, but a truce nonetheless. Israel finally declared a ceasefire with Hamas as well as lightened the blockade in some areas to allow more aid to reach the Gaza strip. However, some officials say this conflict could have been avoided due to the fact that the proposal for the ceasefire was very similar to a proposal made a couple weeks back.
A spokesman for the Israeli government, Mark Regev, stated in an interview, "And I think now, as the dust will begin to clear, many people will be asking: Why is it that today Hamas accepted the very same Egyptian framework that it rejected a month ago?...Ultimately, so much bloodshed could have been avoided."
With the help of Egypt, Israel and Hamas will continue to work out a more permanent truce, however the stability of this ceasefire is questionable. Both sides have promised to stop launching missiles and shooting other weapons at each other, but the roots of the fight weren't resolved.
This nearly month-long conflict began with Israel demanding that Gaza demilitarize. Hamas then retaliated with wanting the right to have an airport and seaport in the Gaza strip as well as the release of Palestinians being held in Israel. The fact that none of these issues were addressed in the truce leaves some experts worried. A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon states "Any peace effort that does not tackle the root causes of the crisis will do little more than set the stage for the next cycle of violence."
U.N. officials state that nearly 2,310 Palestinians have been killed during this conflict, an estimated 70% of which were citizens. Along with those were 67 Israeli's-64 were soldiers. It is hard to tell how Israel and Hamas will react within the next week or so. While the people rejoice, an underlying conflict still stands that could once again break out at any moment. The world will have to continue holding its breath as they wait for one of two outcomes; an agreement and official peace treaty, or another time span of bloodshed as both sides wrestle to see who will be the first to break.