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June 19, 2008

Israel And Hamas Cease Fire

An announcement was made in Israel Wednesday that a cease fire with Hamas will go into effect Thursday. This is a major step in the right direction for both Israel and the Gaza Strip. Over the year hundreds of Palestinians have been killed and seven Israelis have lost their lives. The blockade of Gaza may cease and the two territories will try to work towards some type of agreement over land.

It seems that everyone is tired of the killing and hatred that has ruled Israel and Palestine for decades. Egypt was the country that brokered that talks between the two sides and helped them come to an agreement of a cease fire for six months. Egypt also did their part in the making peace a possibility by agreeing to stop smuggling arms into Gaza. The end of the weapons smuggling will lead to the opening of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza.

It is so good to see this type of agreement come out of the region that has known so much violence and death. Imagine what it would be like to have Israelis and Palestinians living in the same areas, peacefully? Imagine if the two sides can come together and divide the land like the brothers that they are and stop killing one another? What a beautiful thought.

Even though six months is not a long period of time it is a great beginning for Hamas and the Israeli government. If these two sides can come together and have peaceful talks maybe other countries that are at odds with one another can do the same. The day that Israel and Palestine can live side by side is the day that the rest of the world needs to learn a lesson. This could be a monumental agreement if it spawns peace and compromise between these two rivals.

The only bad thing about this truce is that deaths will continue to occur right up to the last minute. It’s like they have to get all the last of the killing out of them before they are to take a six month break. Hamas, which is recognized by many countries, including Egypt and Israel, to be a terrorist group, seems to be trying to show that they are interested in the betterment of people and finding a safe middle ground where everyone can exist.

Hopefully the six month truce will go well and talks will be successful. It would be so wonderful to know that Israel and Palestine were at peace and content. I know that neither side is going to be able to get exactly what they want but I know there is a compromise that will meet both of their needs. Egypt should also be commended for taking the initiative to make this truce come about. The mention of a truce between the two has been in the news for years now. However, nothing every really came of it. I think that having a non Western country intervene was very important. Egypt is clearly not on Israel or Hamas’ side. They are a good moderator for these talks.

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