SRINAGAR — People were witnessed celebrating the truce between Israel and Hamas as there were no reports of any rockets being fired from both the sides for many hours on Friday.
Many Palestinians who had spent the last eleven days huddled in their homes, poured into streets to celebrate.
At 2 AM local time, just as the cease-fire took effect, frenzy life returned to the streets of Gaza. People went out of their homes, some shouting “Allahu Akbar” or whistling from balconies. Many fired in the air, celebrating the truce.
Israel and Hamas called a truce and agreed to a ceasefire on Thursday, halting 11-days of hostilities that brought about widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip.
By dawn, no rockets were fired from either side since a ceasefire went into effect from 2 AM local time. However, both sides had said they were ready to defend their regions if anyone broke the ceasefire.
In Gaza, over 232 people lost their lives, including 65 children and Israel lost 12 people, including 2 children.
Like the three previous wars between the bitter enemies, the latest round of fighting ended inconclusively. Israel claimed to inflict heavy damage on Hamas but once again was unable to halt the Islamic militant group’s non-stop rocket barrages.
Almost immediately, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced angry accusations from his hard-line, right-wing base that he stopped the operation too soon.
Hamas is calling the Gaza ceasefire “a victory” for the militant group in its struggle against Israel. Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya made that characterization while addressing a rally in Gaza City. Al-Hayya claims Israel failed to destroy Hamas’ military infrastructure, and says the group’s fighters are still “striding proudly” in the underground tunnels. However, he did not reveal the terms of the deal.
The United Nations chief, on the other hand, is urging Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers to observe their cease-fire, and says the international community must develop a reconstruction package “that supports the Palestinian people and strengthens their institutions.”
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters after Thursday’s announcement of an end to 11 days of deadly clashes that “Israeli and Palestinian leaders have a responsibility beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict.”