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A ceasefire is in place, but it's not the victory that Netanyahu wanted

40 24 4

As I write it is almost midnight on Thursday, and after a two-and-a-half hour meeting of Israel's security cabinet it has been reported that there is to be a ceasefire in the military offensive against the Gaza Strip, where I live. According to Israeli journalist Yaron Avraham on Channel 12, the Israeli army will stop its shelling of Gaza immediately, but it will be resumed if the Palestinian resistance groups do not stop firing rockets towards the occupation state.

The Egyptian government told the Palestinian factions in Gaza that a ceasefire with Israel will start on Friday at 2am. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office confirmed that the security cabinet had approved this unanimously. The ministers agreed to "accept the Egyptian initiative for a mutual ceasefire without any conditions…"

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan confirmed the reports, and pointed out that, "The Palestinian resistance will be ready to respond to any Israeli violations." Al Jazeera reported that Cairo had informed Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who is based in Doha, that the ceasefire will take effect at 2am on Friday.

Earlier, Israeli army officers claimed to have made "unprecedented" gains over the past eleven days of bombardment. "Hamas is deterred and has suffered serious blows," one officer is reported to have told ministers.

The bombardment began after the Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza responded to more than 20 days of Israeli violence against Palestinian worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Israel's refusal to abandon plans to expel a number of Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. The homes were to be handed over to illegal Jewish settlers through a lengthy and false legal process.

When the resistance groups responded to the Israeli violations they set several goals, including an end to settler and police harassment and provocation in Al-Aqsa Mosque, and no expulsion of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah. Israel's goals in pounding Gaza included the destruction of the resistance infrastructure and the re-imposition of the army's deterrence........

© Middle East Monitor

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