Following the 11-day long attack, Israel has agreed to a ceasefire in Gaza, and the Palestinian resistance organisation Hamas has decided to desist from counterstrikes- hopefully signalling an end to the escalating violence in the Middle East. On Thursday, the Israeli security cabinet unanimously approved an "unconditional bilateral" ceasefire mediated by Egypt and Qatar. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad also acknowledged the ceasefire to be in place starting early Friday. Israel has put an end to the deadliest bloodshed since 2014, which claimed the lives of 232 Palestinians, including 65 young children and 39 women, and 12 others, which incidentally included an Indian from Kerala, in Israel, and turned the tiny Palestinian territory of Gaza into a burial ground. Gaza and the entire Palestine rejoiced at the end of Israeli aggression as a result of international pressure. The United States, European nations and the United Nations have welcomed Israel's unconditional ceasefire.
It is the Israeli Army's attempts to forcefully evict Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood that sparked the conflict this time. Israeli forces also went on to take over the Al Aqsa mosque, considered holy by Muslims worldwide. The fight that broke out then has mostly affected civilians on both sides. Israel relentlessly tried to pound and pulverise the small strip of land that is the Gaza strip. That was also why they were forced to heed the mounting international pressure, including from the United States. Also, unlike on previous occasions, Hamas intensified their counterattacks with rocket fires targeted towards Jerusalem. Even though the casualties were fewer, this shocked Israel. Racial conflicts developing inside Israel also hampered Netanyahu's calculations of dominating over Gaza. Palestinian labourers work in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel as sanitation and construction workers. They went on strike and joined the protests, creating a general sentiment against the ruling Netanyahu government. The worker's strike led to a loss of around 40 million US Dollars, alleges the Israel Builders' Association. All attacks purported to be against Hamas in reality led to massive deaths and destruction of property of civilians in Gaza. Even the Israeli media noted that after all this, the Israeli forces were forced to retreat following the ceasefire without precise information about the enemy's resources. These were the adverse conditions that forced Israel to fall back.
Criticisms have sprung up from inside the country itself that Israel's retreat was a political and diplomatic defeat. Called 'Operation Guardian of Walls,' Tel Aviv's offensive had planned to wipe out Hamas and its defence mechanisms for at least the next five years. However, Hamas rockets managed to land on Israel, bypassing their state-of-the-art Iron Dome defence mechanism. The celebrations in Gaza post the ceasefire indicate their victory over both the Iron Dome and Israel's intelligence forces, considered one of the best in the world. The Israeli newspaper "Haaretz" criticised that more than half of the Israeli people did not approve of a deadly military operation that would lead to mass killings on both sides, and the attack, triggered by Netanyahu's own personal political interests, has destroyed the little confidence left in the leader. Even as Israel has decided to withdraw, peace in Palestine is likely to continue as a fable. The United States and Egypt say they are trying to create an atmosphere in which Israel and Palestine can co-operate peacefully. However, the question is who will take the initiative to rein in Israel, which has adopted a policy of occupation terrorism since the formation of the nation in 1948, and to restore life and freedom to the Palestinian people. Only once we find an answer to this question can Palestine and the world be at peace.