Tense Gaza-Israel ceasefire holds overnight
An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip looks to have held overnight, with both sides claiming victory after the conflict which lasted for eight days.
Over 150 Palestinians were killed in a series of Israeli air-strike attacks which hit officials and sites closely connected to Hamas, but also killed many Palestinian civilians along the way. Meanwhile, six Israelis have died from rockets fired from Gaza.
According to the Israeli officials, at least three rockets were fired into Israel after the ceasefire came into effect after 7pm yesterday, but two were cut off by the Iron Dome defence system and a third landed in a clear area. No more rockets have been fired since then.
The roads of Gaza have been empty since last Wednesday, when Israel killed Ahmed al-Jabari, the head of the military wing of Hamas with a precision rocket, which sparked the conflict.
However, last night Palestinians celebrated the “victory” over Israel.
“Allahu akbar, [God is greatest], dear people of Gaza you won,” the mosque loudspeakers in Gaza blasted last night.
“These people made this victory by their patience, by the blood of our people,” said Hamas spokesman Ihab Hussein.
Khaled Meshaal, the exiled political leader of Hamas, said the Israeli offensive had failed and Hamas, which is seen as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the EU and US, had come out victorious from the eight-day conflict.
A message from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “[Mr] Netanyahu spoke with President Barack Obama and agreed to his recommendation to give a chance to an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire and thereby give an opportunity for the stabilisation of the situation and a calming of it.”