As Cease-Fire Takes Hold, Big Question In Gaza Becomes What’s Next

An Israeli couple, Noga and Moshiko Siho, kiss after they have their wedding photos taken Wednesday in an army staging area on the Israel-Gaza border, near Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, Israel. Oded Balilty/AP

An Israeli couple, Noga and Moshiko Siho, kiss after they have their wedding photos taken Wednesday in an army staging area on the Israel-Gaza border, near Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, Israel. Oded Balilty/AP

Some semblance of normal life returned to Gaza on Wednesday.

The day after Hamas and Israel accepted an open-ended cease-fire, Palestinians returned to their homes, markets opened and bulldozers began clearing the rubble, while in Israel, the sirens warning of rockets fell silent.

Naturally, Palestinians, Israelis and the world started looking toward the future and began asking a tough question: What’s next?

The New York Times reports:

“The agreement, brokered by Egypt, calls for Israel to allow humanitarian aid and building materials through the border crossings it controls into Gaza. But it remained unclear who would oversee the reconstruction effort and monitor imported cement and concrete to allay Israeli concerns that it be used only for civilian purposes.

“Discussion of the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along with demands by Hamas, the Islamist faction that dominates Gaza, for a seaport and airport in Gaza — and by Israel for the demilitarization of the territory — were put off for up to a month.

” ‘I don’t think that any declaration here is important, who won what,’ Yaakov Amidror, a former Israeli national security adviser, told reporters in an afternoon conference call Wednesday. ‘What’s important is what will happen in the future.’ ”

More immediately, Reuters reports that the truce has already started having an impact on the ground. Egypt, for example, eased restrictions at the Rafah border crossing with Gaza. It allowed a shipment of 25,000 food parcels from the World Food Program to enter Gaza for the first time since 2007.

Al-Jazeera’s Jane Ferguson tweeted that for the first time in a while in Gaza, “you can feel relief in the air.”

Still, one thing most people will agree on is that all of the big issues that led to this conflict remain unresolved.

On today’s opinion page, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz took shots at both sides, saying both had committed war crimes in this conflict. What this war should teach the world is that a long-term peace cannot be accomplished through military might, it said. A long-lasting peace will come only through sincere negotiations.

Haaretz concludes:

“Over the last 50 days, cemeteries filled with bodies and hospitals overflowed with wounded. Rubble piled up and hatred and fear overflowed their banks on both sides. But this cloud could yet have a silver lining: Perhaps Israel, for the first time in its history, will fundamentally change its approach.

“It sounds ridiculous now. But how is it possible to end this cursed war without at least envisioning hope?”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.image
Read original article – Published August 27, 2014 1:43 PM ET
As Cease-Fire Takes Hold, Big Question In Gaza Becomes What’s Next

Recent headlines

  • (Creative Commons photo by Velkr0/Flickr)

    Ask the Energy Desk: Are plastic bag bans better for the environment?

    Bans on plastic grocery bags have been cropping up across Alaska’s remote communities. Cordova’s ban went into effect last year. But so far, the larger cities in the state have yet to adopt one.
  • The Haines state trooper car parked outside of the courthouse. (Photo by Emily Files/KHNS)

    Alaska State Troopers plan to move Haines position to Bethel

    Things are not looking good for Haines’ Alaska State Trooper post. Trooper Director Col. James Cockrell intends to reassign Haines’ one trooper position to Bethel. The decision isn’t final yet, but the community conversation about how to handle the loss continued at a Public Safety Commission meeting this week.
  • Study shows rise in some prenatal exposure to opiates

    A new study from a Alaskan epidemiologist looks at infants who were exposed to opiates before birth. Unlike previous studies, it goes beyond the sharp rise in cases for a portion of the population to explore what happens next.
  • The dark areas are pink salmon between the falls in the Anan Creek south of Wrangell, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Troy Thynes)

    State cuts bring changes to Southeast commercial fisheries

    Commercial fisheries in Southeast Alaska have survived two years of state budget cuts but not without some changes. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Commercial Fisheries has cut some positions, ended some monitoring programs, and found some new funding sources.
X