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It will strengthen Hamas politically – VG

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Jerusalem (VG) Shortly after the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas took effect, people took to the streets of the Gaza Strip to celebrate. Middle East experts do not believe in lasting peace.


After 11 days of bloody conflict, Israel and Hamas agreed to a mutual ceasefire.

It entered into force at 02 pm until Friday local time – 01 pm Norwegian time.

Seconds later, people took to the streets of the Gaza Strip to celebrate, he writes AP. The news agency described a loud crowd, whistling from balconies and a barrage of bullets in the air.

Hamas, which according to Reuters sees the ceasefire as a victory over a militarily stronger enemy, has planned to hold public celebrations throughout the night.

The ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas was negotiated through the Egyptian authorities and applies to both sides.

The United States is also said to have played an important role behind the scenes, and the country’s foreign minister, Anthony Blinken, announced Friday night that he would travel to the Middle East in the next few days to meet prominent Israeli and Palestinian politicians.

The United Nations asks the parties to maintain the ceasefire

“I think we have a real opportunity to make progress, and I am committed to working for that,” US President Joe Biden said in a speech at the White House Thursday evening, adding that he had spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Six times in the past two weeks.

Biden says the United States is committed to helping Israel refill Iron Dome missiles for the country’s missile defense, and to work with the Palestinian Authority – not Hamas – to secure emergency aid for the Gaza Strip, NTB writes.

I thank Egypt and Qatar for their efforts, which were coordinated with the United Nations, to help restore calm in the Gaza Strip and Israel. “I urge all parties to abide by the ceasefire,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

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Several attacks on Thursday

The VG team landed in Israel on Thursday morning. Throughout the day, there were repeated warnings of rockets coming from Gaza. According to The Times of Israel, rockets are being fired at several communities near the Israeli border before the ceasefire takes effect, according to Hamas.

At the same time, the Norwegian People’s Aid announced in a press release around 22:00 Thursday that it was receiving reports of attacks west of Gaza City.

According to health officials in Gaza, 232 Palestinians have been killed in the attacks so far. Among them are 65 children and 39 women. According to 12 Israelis Israeli newspaper Haaretz Hamas rockets. More than 4,000 rockets have been launched since May 10.

Rocket Tilde: Hamas fired rockets at Israel from Gaza City on Thursday. Photo: Mahmoud Homs / AFP


It is truly gratifying to hear about the ceasefire. I hope this continues. The violent escalation, he says, was a nightmare Nidal Hamdouna, Who works in helping the Norwegian Church in Gaza for VG.

Khaled Muhammad Ibrahim (30), who also lives in Gaza, describes to VG the ceasefire as necessary “to stop all killings of civilians and children.”

Will a peace agreement help civilians in Gaza?

We in Gaza seek peace, stability, democracy and free elections, which was denied by Israel in Jerusalem. The State of Israel has destroyed enough. Ibrahim answers: We want legitimate rights, we want the state of Palestine, we want to end the occupation, and we want Gaza as a whole to develop.

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Hamas will be strengthened

Most of us will say that we have gone through this several times before: that there is a war between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and that you got a ceasefire that Egypt was happy to help achieve, says Professor Emeritus and Middle East Specialist Nils Potenschon at the Norwegian Center for Human Rights.

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None of the fundamental problems have been solved through such an agreement. The only thing that will happen is that he will strengthen Hamas politically vigorously, he continues.

And Potenchon believes that this is due to the fact that Hamas’ rivals in the Palestinian liberation movement have proven that they are “completely impotent” and “neutral” in the ongoing conflict over Jerusalem.

The ethnic cleansing that the Israelis are trying to achieve step by step creates deep frustration among Palestinians. Then you get positions like the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Middle East expert believes.

Israeli rebel policemen barked last Thursday with Palestinians gathered in Al-Aqsa Mosque. On Friday, riot police stormed the rally and drove hundreds of protesters with trucks.

– dispatch of squadrons of homemade missiles. This is the measure that Hamas can take, to show that on the Palestinian side it represents the will of the resistance. Potenchon explains that they know that means the bombing of Gaza and a heavy price to pay, but they are strengthening themselves politically in the Palestinian and Arab context.

A less severe disorder

In the press releases sent to VG, both the Norwegian People’s Aid and the Red Cross wrote on Thursday that they had received the news of the ceasefire with “cautious optimism”.

This is an important step in protecting civilians, and it provides an opportunity to provide vital emergency aid, says Henriette Wester, Secretary-General for The Norwegian People’s Assistance.

After 11 days in Hell, our Gaza colleagues say they fear hope for a lot, but are cautious optimists. We now hope that our employees and partners can operate without fear of being hit by rockets, missiles, or explosions, she said.

– For the parties to confirm now that they are entering into a ceasefire is a good thing. As long as the fighting rages on, it is extremely difficult for the civilian population, and it is also difficult to get there with humanitarian aid, says Burnet J. Abeland, Secretary-General of the Red Cross.

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Assistant Director Mart Heian-Ingdal at the NOREF Center for International Conflict Resolution told VG that the ceasefire agreement means less severe suffering for the Palestinians. It provides more security for the civilian population, and more space for humanitarian aid.

We have no indication of the political will to address the problems caused by the conflict: how the country should be divided between two peoples and how should they live side by side, says Heian-Ingdal.

It also believes that Hamas will be able to declare victory by terrorizing the Israelis into bomb shelters, and has shown the Palestinians that they are there to support what they see as a negative development in Jerusalem.

But Heian Ingdal, it is also clear that many of the neighboring countries in the region have indicated that Israel has shown a willingness to respond.

– It was so formidable. They hit back hard to show the next person wanting to try that this is what they can expect – or worse.

This is what it looked like when Israeli bombings destroyed a media building last weekend:

There is no solution in sight

Neither Potichon nor Heian Ingdal believe that the conflict will be resolved in the near future.

– I started working with this 49 years ago, and have followed the conflict very closely. There was no “quick fix” at the time, nor yet. The stability and political arrangement in which parties can join forces, says Potenchun, seem a long way off.

The longer the conflict lasts, the more difficult it will be to engage people. Even with courageous and successful leaders on both sides, it will be a mammoth task after decades of conflict. Heian Ingdal believes that, until now, neither side has this kind of leadership.

Journalist Erlend Ofte Arntsen and Photographer Thomas Nilsson are the VG team in Israel.

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