After decades of fighting, misery, terror and death on both sides, can Israelis and Palestinians make peace?
After 29 days of bitter fighting, terror and bloodshed that claimed the lives of at least 1,800 Palestinians and 67 Israelis, a humanitarian cease fire brokered by Egypt went into effect today. As the 72-hour truce took hold, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and took defensive positions outside the Gaza Strip on the Israeli side of the border. Israel and the Palestinians sent delegations to Cairo, Egypt to secure a permanent ceasefire after this 72-hour temporary one ends.
Both sides used the last minutes before the ceasefire went into effect, at 8:00AM local time, to launch attacks (Hamas fired 16 rockets at Israeli civilians and Israel launched 5 air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza).
Ban Ki-moon , UN secretary-general, called for both sides to “commence, as soon as possible, talks in Cairo on a durable ceasefire and the underlying issues.” He went on to say that “in this regard, he welcomes the proactive engagement of the Palestinian delegation under the leadership of President Abbas.”
This sentiment was shared by former Israeli President Shimon Peres , who indicated in an interview with Wolf Blitzer that lasting peace cannot be had with rockets and tunnels and that Gaza should be controlled by the Palestinian Authority, which rules the West Bank. Perez went on to say that Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), is an essential figure in achieving an Israel-Palestinian peace since “he has the courage, more than any other Arab leader, to stand up and say, ‘I’m against terror. I’m against kidnapping…I’m for peace’.”
It is clear is that peace between Israel and the Palestinians will not only save many lives and bring with it great prosperity to the Palestinian, but will also greatly benefit Israel and surrounding Arab world.
Since all previous ceasefires ended up failing, and since this war (in one form or another) has been raging since 1948, is peace between the Palestinians and Israel possible, and if so, how and when?
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