Did you greet this announcement with joy?
BREAKING: Israel and Hamas agree on a ceasefire to take place in next 3 hours
Meanwhile, bombs continue to rain down on Gaza
— Double Down News (@DoubleDownNews) May 20, 2021
If you did, why?
Let’s discuss the deal. Here‘s Sky News (although I think they got it from Reuters):
Israel and Hamas have agreed a ceasefire after 11 days of fighting that have left more than 200 dead – the vast majority of them Palestinians.
At least 230 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, according to Gaza health officials, while 12 in Israel have died.
The Israeli cabinet announcement said the Egypt-brokered ceasefire had been agreed unanimously and that the campaign had made “great achievements” – some of them “unprecedented”.
It also appeared to leave the door open for a resumption of fighting if the ceasefire is not honoured.
Hamas’s Osama Hamdan said the group had obtained guarantees from the mediators that the attacks on Gaza would stop.
It also claimed to have “obtained guarantees” over the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque – the issues largely blamed for starting the fighting.
Gaza has suffered heavy damage and TV pictures have captured the destruction of several high-rise towers which Israel said housed military targets.
The fierce aerial bombardment means Palestinians now have limited or no access to water, according to the UN and aid agencies.
Officials said electricity was down to around three to four hours per day, with 16,800 housing units damaged.
So Palestinian losses were 19 times those of Israel, whose “great achievements” also include denying Gaza access to water and limiting its electricity to less than four hours per day, rendering 16,800 homes unsafe, and destroying the region’s defence against Covid-19 (a fact that, curiously, wasn’t mentioned in the report).
And what are the guarantees about Sheikh Jarrah and the Al Aqsa Mosque really worth? It was the Israeli government’s refusal to stop turfing Palestinians out of their homes, and invasion of the third most holy place in Islam that started the conflict in the first place.
Note that fighting could resume if the ceasefire is not honoured. Considering the Israeli government’s failure to accede to reasonable Palestinian demands for an end to the forced removal of people from their homes, who do you think is most likely to betray its terms?
Here are a few more pertinent comments, from the social media:
We also need to remember: Palestinians are still killed within a ceasefire, in besieged Gaza, and in occupied West Bank & Jerusalem, and in apartheid Palestine 48.
Hold on to your anger! Transform your anger into organizing. Keep Palestine alive in the media. And BDS
— Rania Masri / رانية المصري (@rania_masri) May 20, 2021
Ceasefire doesn't mean that this is the end of this genocide, illegal occupation, colonisation and ethnic cleansing. We must continue our campaign for our Al-Aqsa and Palestine until these crimes come to a complete and lasting stop. InshaAllah. #FreePalestine
— Shaykh Ashiq (@ShaykhAshiq) May 20, 2021
They call it cease fire but i hear "israel resting till their next brutal attack on Gazans who are to stay in Gaza and wait"
— 🐘 #savesheikhaljarrah (@howbutdat) May 20, 2021
Agreed. you may have a ceasefire with continued surveillance. This won't rectify anything in my opinion, b'se the sale of arms/arms aid by US continues & the intl response, a game of cards & words. Its a ceasefire with deliberations where the siege+occupation lurks in silence.
— Ibrahim Bahati (@Bahabris) May 20, 2021
Judging by its recent record, This Writer expects the Israel government to resume hostilities as soon as it is expedient to do so – coupled with an unverifiable claim that it was Palestinians who reneged on the ceasefire.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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