With Israel and Hamas agreeing to an indefinite ceasefire proposal initiated by Egypt, it is looking like the much condemned Gaza war is finally over.
The conflict named “Operation Protective Edge” which began in July this year with the aim of destroying Hamas, led to seven weeks of catastrophic loss of lives and destruction wiping Gaza strip off the map. Rocket fire and air strikes had continued until the last moments. But the decision to put an end to the war has brought relief and hope to the civilians in Palestine. But what had each of sides gained through the war? In the 51 days of the Israel Gaza conflict, 2145 people have been killed, most of them civilians, including women, children and the elderly. Around 1, 000 people were severely injured. The war destroyed thousands of homes, hospitals, mosques, schools and rehabilitation centres and did not spare even the only zoo in Gaza. Farms, power and water plants were also hit and around a third of Gaza's 1.8 million people have been displaced, many now living in United Nations shelters. On the other hand Israel lost 69 lives out of which 64 were Israeli soldiers. Hamas has managed to avoid innocent civilians targeting only the security forces thereby abiding by the conventions of military rules unlike Israel who had targeted the civilians in the war. Being one of the top military powers of the world, it’s a shame for Israel when compared to Hamas who boldly resisted them triggering criticisms even inside Israel against the Prime Minister, Netanyahu.
With the indefinite ceasefire in effect, Hamas is expected to raise its demands for a port, airport and a solution to the salary crisis of the Hamas employees and for the withdrawal of sanctions on Gaza. According to the ceasefire deal, the fishing zone of Gaza’s coast would be expanded from three nautical miles to six and the border crossings would also be opened for the humanitarian aid and construction materials to be brought in. The war has obliterated almost the whole of a country; analysts say that reconstruction might take up to 10 years. An international Donor conference would be held for the reconstruction of Gaza. Even though the demands have not been mentioned in the deal, they are expected to be presented in the meetings to be held in future if the ceasefire prolongs.
Despite the brutal attacks, severe casualties and the fate of its top three military commanders, Hamas has stood strongly with the Gazans without giving up and finally surviving the war. The relentless courage and will to survive has helped them stand against Israel and in the end, they have come out successful hoping to start afresh and forgetting the wounds from the war. The victory of the small guerrilla unit that have led the Gazans to peace and hope is laudable and worth a million cheers.