As soon as the ceasefire agreement between the Palestinian resistance movement and the Israelis came into effect on Wednesday, jubilant Palestinians took to the streets of the Gaza Strip to celebrate what they feel is a resounding victory. It looked as if Hamas has come out of the Israeli offensive politically stronger at home and in the Palestinian diaspora, as celebrations also took place in several Arab capitals over what analysts are calling “a landmark in the history of the Arabic-Israeli conflict.”
A crucial point, analysts believe, is that the request for a ceasefire came, according to Hamas’s Khaled Meshaal, from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Although this was denied by an Israeli spokesman, Meshaal said that the Israelis started the aggression “and after eight days stopped it”.
The Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said that his government was happy to accept the ceasefire agreement, which was negotiated with Egypt mediating between the Palestinian parties and the Israelis.
The Foreign Ministries in Egypt and Israel published the terms of the ceasefire on their websites:
1. Understanding Regarding Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip
a. Israel shall stop all hostilities on the Gaza Strip land, sea and air, including incursions and targeting of individuals.
b. All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel, including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.
c. Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods, and refraining from restricting residents free movement, and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.
d. Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.
2 Implementation Mechanism
a. Setting up the zero hour for the Ceasefire Understanding to enter into effect.
b. Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.
c. Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations, Egypt – as the sponsor of this understanding – shall be informed to follow up.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad