Hamas Declares 24-Hour Ceasefire on Eid as Peace Remains ‘Elusive’ in Palestine

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | July 28, 2014 2:59 PM EST

Hamas has agreed on a 24-hour ceasefire on humanitarian grounds as the Islamic world starts to celebrate Eid al-Fitr on Monday, July 28. The ceasefire will start at 2 o'clock in the afternoon (local time). Israel, on the other hand, accused Hamas of disregarding an earlier truce in the Gaza Strip.

REUTERS/Siegfried Modola
An Israeli soldier reunites with his girlfriend during a 12-hour ceasefire, near Sderot in the Southern District of Israel July 26, 2014. A 12-hour humanitarian truce went into effect on Saturday after Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip agreed to a U.N. request for a pause in fighting and efforts proceeded to secure a long-term cease-fire moved ahead.

Hamas apparently agreed on the truce after the United Nations had proposed to consider a ceasefire because of the Eid celebrations in the Muslim world. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri confirmed the truce. However, there were reports of firing in Gaza. Palestinian fighters allegedly fired missiles at Israel during the ceasefire as warning sirens could be heard among Israeli communities. Israel earlier declared a 24-hour ceasefire which was called off after Hamas had continued firing at the central and southern parts of the Jewish country.

Israel continues to claim that it is their war against the terrorists in Gaza. The rest of the world, however, has already started being skeptic about the cause. Dahlia Scheindlin of The Guardian wrote that Israel's justification for attacking Gaza "ignores the context." The number of Israeli soldiers died has crossed 40. As a stark contrast, Almost 1,100 were killed in Palestine, most of which are civilians consisting of children and women. Over 6,000 people have been injured so far as Israel's "fight to terrorism" draws similar comparison with the U.S. invasion of Iraq after the 9/11 tragedy.

While around 4,486 service members from the United States were killed during the invasion, leaked classified information from the U.S. military revealed that almost 110,000 Iraqi people were killed, which consisted of more than 66,000 civilians. The statistics showed the number of casualties from January 2004 to December 2009. For many experts who are critical about the foreign policies of the United States, the U.S. government does not deserve to criticise Israel's moves as it did the same to other countries on several occasions before.

The world celebrates Eid which is supposed to be a celebration of happiness. However, if the people of Palestine and Israel wished to pray for only one thing on this special occasion, it would be peace - a word which sounds alien to most of them.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Siegfried Modola / )
An Israeli soldier reunites with his girlfriend during a 12-hour ceasefire, near Sderot in the Southern District of Israel July 26, 2014. A 12-hour humanitarian truce went into effect on Saturday after Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip agreed to a U.N. request for a pause in fighting and efforts proceeded to secure a long-term cease-fire moved ahead.
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