Update: Gaza Ceasefire Announced
A ceasefire is being brokered between Israel and the Palestinians of Gaza through Egyptian mediation. Here are the latest reports.
As a follow-up to our blog post “Gaza Conflict: Rockets Targeted at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,” here are some of the latest news developments about a proposed ceasefire announced by Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Cairo today.
“Under the deal, Israel has agreed to end all hostilities and targeted killings, while Hamas will stop attacks against Israel and along the border.
“At least 157 people have died since the flare-up of violence began last week.
“Both sides continued to fire on each other as the ceasefire deadline approached, say BBC correspondents in Gaza and Israel.
“The deadline for the ceasefire was 19:00 GMT (21:00 local time).”
Perspective from previous ceasefires
BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen gave this perspective on how long the ceasefire might last: “Since Hamas took over internal control of the Gaza Strip from their Palestinian rivals Fatah in 2007, there have been many spasms of cross-border violence. All have been followed by ceasefires. All have fallen apart, and every time Israel and Hamas blame each other.
“The reason is that the ceasefires have been, to paraphrase a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, sticking-plaster solutions. They cover up the fundamental problem which is that Hamas and Israel are in what amounts to a constant state of war. For months on end it can be a cold war, until it runs hot—and deadly—again.
“There is a strong chance that a new ceasefire will eventually fall apart too, unless it brings with it a major change in the political equation between Israel and the Palestinians, especially those in Gaza.”
Text of the ceasefire agreement
Reuters reported the following verbatim text of the ceasefire agreement reached through Egyptian mediation. This was distributed by the Egyptian presidency:
“Agreement of Understanding for a Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip
“1: (no title given for this section)
“A. Israel should stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals.
“B. All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.
“C. Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents' free movements and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.
“D. Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.
“2: Implementation mechanisms:
“A. Setting up the zero hour for the ceasefire understanding to enter into effect.
“B. Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.
“C. Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations Egypt as the sponsor of this understanding shall be informed to follow up.”
Keep watching the Middle East
See our previous blog post at “Gaza Conflict: Rockets Targeted at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.” For a biblical perspective of the future of the region, see our section on the “Middle East in Bible Prophecy.”