Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Israel and Hamas Agree to a Truce

After a brutal 7 week campaign the recent conflict between Hamas and Israel seems to be over. Leaders of both Hamas, and Israel agreed today to a peace agreement which includes Hamas's demands for an airport and seaport in Gaza and the release of Palestinian prisoners, and Israel's insistence on the disarmament of militant groups and the return of the remains of two of its soldiers killed in the fighting. A US state department spokeswoman said: "We call on all parties to fully and completely comply with its terms, and hope very much that the ceasefire will prove to be durable and sustainable. We view this as an opportunity, not a certainty. There is a long road ahead and we're aware of that, and we're going into this eyes wide open." The deal follows at least eight temporary ceasefires during the course of the conflict. In Gaza, more than 2,100 people have been killed, most of them civilians, including about 500 children, in the past seven weeks. At least 11,000 people were injured and more than 17,000 homes destroyed or badly damaged. Around a third of Gaza's 1.8 million population has been displaced, many now living in United Nations shelters. Schools, hospitals, factories, farms, mosques and infrastructure such as power and water plants were hit. Reconstruction could take up to 10 years, say analysts. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers died and five civilians including a four-year-old boy were killed. A blessed day for all peace advocates, but conflicts still rage in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan, The Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, we must not grow weary in this "fight" for peace. Our persistence as peace advocates is our greatest weapon.

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