GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinians rallied with a gathering of thousands of people early Friday after a cease-fire took place in the recent Gaza battle. However, many viewed it as an expensive, however clean victory for the Islamic militant organization Hamas over a far more powerful Israel.
The 11-day struggle left more than two hundred dead — the vast majority Palestinians — and brought extensive devastation to the already impoverished Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip. But the rocket barrages which are being introduced to a standstill in most of Israel have been seen by many Palestinians as a formidable reaction to perceived Israeli abuses in Jerusalem, the emotional heart of the conflict.
The truce faces an early check on Friday. At the same time, tens of thousands of Palestinians attend weekly prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, a flashpoint holy site respected by Jews and Muslims. Celebratory protests ought to spark confrontations with Israeli police, setting in motion some other cycle of escalation just like the one which was the reason for the battle. Thousands were out on the streets in Gaza because of the cease-fire that took around at 2 a.m. Young men waved Palestinian and Hamas flags, handed out sweets, honked horns and spark off fireworks. Spontaneous celebrations also broke out in east Jerusalem and throughout the occupied West Bank.
The mood was more sombre in Israel, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confronted indignant accusations from his right-wing base that he had halted the war too soon. Like the three previous wars among the bitter enemies, the modern round of combating ended without a conclusion. Israel claimed to have inflicted heavy damage on Hamas with loads of bruising airstrikes; however, over again was not able to halt the rockets.
Hamas also claimed victory, regardless of the frightening toll the battle took on limitless Palestinian families who lost loved ones, houses and businesses. It now faces the daunting mission of rebuilding a territory already affected by excessive unemployment and a coronavirus outbreak.