A ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinians aimed at ending their seven-week conflict in Gaza went into effect on Tuesday and joyous Palestinians streamed into the streets of the battered enclave to celebrate.
No clear victor emerged from what had become a war of attrition between the Middle East’s most powerful armed forces and the dominant Hamas militant movement in the Gaza Strip.
(Sidebar: Hamas got its @$$ kicked- again.)
Exacting a heavy toll in Palestinian lives and property, Israel said it dealt a strong blow to Hamas, killing several of its military leaders and destroying the group’s cross-border infiltration tunnels.
But Israel also faced persistent rocket fire for nearly two months that caused an exodus from some border communities and became part of daily life in its commercial heartland.
Minutes before the Egyptian-brokered truce began at 1200 ET, a rocket fired by Palestinian militants killed one person in an Israeli kibbutz, or collective farm, near the Gaza frontier, police said.
Palestinian and Egyptian officials said the deal called for an indefinite halt to hostilities, the immediate opening of Gaza’s blockaded crossings with Israel and Egypt and a widening of the territory’s fishing zone in the Mediterranean.