We're almost through the first twenty four hours of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Gaza, and besides a few stray rockets in the first couple hours, it seems to be holding. We could be in the clear, folks.
So, in case you didn't know, after eight days of fighting the two sides were finally able to come to an agreement on a ceasefire yesterday. And it worked! Things are tense, sure, and they're both just waiting for the other to mess up and they can start shooting again, but for now things are fine. Gaza is declaring victory, despite suffering way more casualties, because Israel didn't mount a ground invasion like they did the last time the two clashed. The two countries are cleaning up and waiting for the first twenty four hours to go by before they move on completely to the next step.
Which, as the AP explains, the ceasefire is meant to be the first step in negotiations with bigger goals for the Palestinian people:
Despite the tough talk, the cease-fire raised hopes of a new era between Israel and Hamas. The two sides are now to negotiate a deal that would end years of Gaza rocket fire on Israel and open the borders of the blockaded Palestinian territory. Talks are supposed to begin sometime after a 24-hour period that began with the cease-fire late Wednesday.
Hopefully everything will hold up and the negotiations can happen without incident. While we're quietly celebrating the first full day of quiet, this is definitely still a powder keg that could explode any minute. But baby steps are enough to be celebrated, so celebrate we will.