Gaza in ruins, but Palestinians pour into streets to celebrate victory

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The 15-storey Basha Tower was reduced to rubble in the overnight attack. Lizzie Dearden. Tuesday 26 August 2014
The 15-storey Basha Tower was reduced to rubble in an overnight attack. Palestinians inspect the remains of the destroyed Tower on 26 August 2014

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip poured into the streets Tuesday to celebrate the announcement that Hamas and Israel had agreed to an open-ended cease-fire after 50 days of warfare that has killed more than 2,200 people.

“We have won,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri exulted at a news conference in front of Shifa Hospital. He said the group’s fighters had accomplished “what no Arab army has done. We have defeated them,” referring to Israel.

His exuberance aside, officials from Hamas and another Gaza-based militant group, Islamic Jihad, said the cease-fire agreement essentially brings Israel and Palestinians back to terms agreed on in the truce signed after the 2012 Gaza war.

A senior official in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, speaking about the latest cease-fire on the condition of anonymity, said Hamas had gained little, if anything, from the conflict, which has left vast tracts of Gaza in ruins.

“Hamas is now finally accepting a cease-fire proposal that was first proposed by Egypt on July 15,” the official said. “There is nothing more to the proposal than there was a month and a half ago.”

Under the deal, Israel will immediately ease restrictions on Gaza and allow relief aid and construction materials to enter the coastal enclave. The deal will also allow Gaza fishermen to venture six miles offshore; until now, they were restricted to three miles.

Other demands by the Palestinians — building a seaport and an airport, opening all border crossings and improving the movement of goods and people — are set to be discussed in Cairo. Israel also will press its demand that Gaza be demilitarized.

The cease-fire deal was modest. To be dealt with later are the big questions about who will control the Gaza Strip: Hamas, which currently runs the enclave and denies Israel’s right to exist, or the Palestinian Authority, which is committed to nonviolence and has been unsuccessfully seeking to create a sovereign state in the West Bank and Gaza.

U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry welcomed the deal and urged the two sides to “fully and completely comply with its terms.”

Kerry also sounded a note of caution, saying in a statement: “We are all aware that this is an opportunity, not a certainty. . . . We are approaching the next phase with our eyes wide open. We have been down this road before, and we are all aware of the challenges ahead.”

The senior Netanyahu aide expressed similar views, saying, “There have been 11 cease-fire attempts that have either been rejected or violated by Hamas, and the key to moving forward and easing the restrictions is honoring cease-fires.”

Fireworks and flags
In Gaza City, residents who an hour earlier were hunkered down in their houses, listening to rocket and missile fire, burst into the streets after the deal was announced.

There were fireworks and chants, and flags of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were waved while banners celebrated the sacrifices of martyrs. Israeli drones continued to fly overhead, as they have for the entire conflict.
During his emotional news conference, Abu Zuhri boasted that the Gaza brigades had shut down Tel Aviv’s international airport and that Hamas rocket fire had forced Israeli residents in the border communities to flee their homes.

“Whatever Netanyahu says, he will not be able to defend his failure,” the Hamas spokesman said.

Meanwhile, even as Hamas leaders started to announce the deal, mortar rounds fired from Gaza killed two Israeli civilians and seriously injured several others on a kibbutz near the border, and Israeli airstrikes claimed eight lives in Gaza.

The conflict has killed about 2,130 Palestinians and 70 Israelis.

Israeli news media reported that the Netanyahu cabinet was split on the decision to accept the cease-fire proposal brokered by Egypt.

The fiercest critic appeared to be the hawkish economy minister, Naftali Bennett, who, according to the news portal Walla, had requested that Netanyahu bring the proposal to a cabinet vote.

gaza hamas victory celebration
Palestinians in Gaza celebrate victory Photo: REUTERS

Community leaders from Israeli farm towns bordering the Gaza Strip — those hit hardest by rocket fire from the enclave, especially in the past few days — were skeptical about the cease-fire agreement, telling Israeli news channels that only time will tell whether the deal is for real.

“The leaders on both sides will probably each declare victory, while the people on each side do not feel like they are victors at all,” said Miri Eisin, a former army colonel who served as the deputy head of Israel’s combat intelligence corps.

“I am not sure that this is a cease-fire or that it will be respected any better than the previous ones,” said Giora Eiland, former head of Israel’s National Security Council. “We will need to wait two or three days to see if this is stable enough. All previous declarations were not very reliable.”

‘A lose-lose situation’
“It is much more a lose-lose situation than a decisive victory to either side,” Eiland said.

Israeli hard-liners are complaining that the deal did little to guarantee that Hamas would not quickly rearm and begin firing rockets and mortar rounds again.

“The decision to accept the latest cease-fire with Hamas is completely without justification,” said Danny Danon, a member of parliament and leader of Netanyahu’s Likud party.

“After thousands of rockets fired at our cities, and scores of Israelis killed and wounded, we are agreeing to accept the very situation that allowed Hamas to arm itself and prepare its forces for their murderous attacks on Israel,” Danon said.

Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, made the cease-fire announcement in front of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

“We accept the cease-fire,” Abbas said. “It will provide food and construction materials for Gaza,” which he described as being in a “disastrous situation, almost unimaginable.”

“Later we will have more talks,” he said.

Washington Post

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68 responses to “Gaza in ruins, but Palestinians pour into streets to celebrate victory”

  1. Congratulations and happy victory! great accomplishment!! “we won” Am I missing something here? were the 2000 casualties playing dead? are all the buildings reduced to ruble photoshoped? all the mamed and injured are all better now?

    1. Hannibal Avatar

      lol

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar
        5thDrawer

        Pic should read: ‘Basha Tower Got Bashed.’

        1. $89733098 Avatar
          $89733098

          Lol
          I will add to that.
          Basha tower got bashed by the basher.

    2. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Really … there are no words in rebuttal to such grandiose declarations.

      1. Good morning 5th, I counted 22 times that I watched the movie titanic and each time I hoped the ship wouldn’t hit the iceburg. …. needless to say if I keep watching the outcome will not change 🙁 untill palestinians have equal living conditions and quality of life as israelis do the word victory should be banned!!

        both you and I have read all the conspiracy theoris that al quada is in bed with israel and Isis is in bed with the us and some are so convinced that Iran is in bed with Zionists and so on , so here is one that I would be wiling to believe, Hamas is in bed with israel as they allways provide them with legitamcy to knock down everything they built.

        I will only believe “victory if the mothers of the lost children state that their loss was worth it.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Well we MUST believe now … Iran said the same thing. !!
          “Iran said on Wednesday that Palestinian militants had emerged the victors and brought their Israeli foe “to its knees”. ”

          I think I should go back to sleep … 🙁

          P.S. I watched Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001 – A Space Oddessy’ about the same number of times.
          You might be better to see the stage-play, ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’.
          It’s never as ‘graphic’. 😉

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            Speaking of movies, Geo.
            Do you remember the days of the ‘big screen’ theatre ??? It WAS glorious.
            Watching 2001, you actually FELT you were in space.
            Now we have more people … and they are all watching 3.5 inch screens.
            Progress ?? Not in everything ……

    3. sweetvirgo Avatar
      sweetvirgo

      I swear I don’t know what the hell they are celebrating. All that outcry….thousands of people protesting on their behalf and now they are celebrating?? Yes let’s all celebrate that so many civilians and innocent children had to die…but yet they won. So stupid!!!

      1. Welcome back Sweets, one minute they are accusing israel of war crimes and the next minute they are victorius, even young Yasser to old yasser was convinced of it was always a victory no matter what the outcome is.

        Equal human rights and living conditions would be a victory in my books, so far not convinced it will come through Hamas. Mothers from both sides should be given a chance to run the show for a year and I assure you there would be more hope of a solution.

        1. sweetvirgo Avatar
          sweetvirgo

          I couldn’t agree with you more my friend. They should be having a moment of silence for the dead but instead they are celebrating in the streets.

          1. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
            Comtessa di Alba

            they have screamed and cried for their deaths every second of the War, just remember the small boys playing football on the beach, in front Press hotel.

          2. sweetvirgo Avatar
            sweetvirgo

            I know they have mourned but why are they celebrating a “victory”? A victory over what? Over 2 thousand dead and houses destroyed. What did they win?

          3. Maborlz Ez-Hari Avatar
            Maborlz Ez-Hari

            Maybe living in captivity all these years has twisted the minds of the occupied so much that we just dont understand what they’re thinking. Just like in 2006 many lebanese believe they won that war, go figure?

          4. sweetvirgo Avatar
            sweetvirgo

            LOl, Exactly go figure…….if they want to celebrate then go ahead.

          5. Maborlz Ez-Hari Avatar
            Maborlz Ez-Hari

            The best way to shift the worlds focus away from the isreali war crimes is by having the palestinians celebrate. If there is a more desensitized and confused race then the arab, I would like to know who it is.

          6. Joe Deno Avatar

            Don’t you have a life…No man want you that your problem..you need a good fuck to striggten you out

          7. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
            Comtessa di Alba

            Hi Maste0

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            All Trauma. You need to understand a mental condition to begin to alleviate it.
            At least YOU finally understood it was being dumped in a snow-bank at an early age that affected you. 😉
            Good Link. Even if from the ‘evil hurst’ empire. 🙂

          2. Thank You Hind, it is sad that even back then it was subjected to ruins of war, I love the picture of the old buildings with archways, long gone 🙁

      2. 5thDrawer Avatar
        5thDrawer

        Basically what the old WWI terminology described as ‘Shell Shock’.
        In this case a whole society … and at least three generations. On all ‘sides’.
        (Modern thinking on it adds ‘stress disorders’ from all Traumatic Events.)
        ———
        Shell Shock – noun
        1. loss of sight, memory, etc, resulting from psychological strain during prolonged engagement in warfare Also called combat neurosis
        war neurosis in Medicine …. war neurosis n.
        A nervous disorder, usually temporary but sometimes leading to a permanent neurosis, brought on by the exhaustion and stress of combat or similar situations and marked by deep anxiety, depression, irritability, and related symptoms. Also called battle fatigue , combat fatigue , shell shock .
        1 . combat fatigue , also called battle fatigue, or shell shock, a neurotic disorder caused by the stress involved in war. This anxiety-related disorder is characterized by (1) hypersensitivity to stimuli such as noises, movements, and light accompanied by overactive responses that include involuntary defensive jerking or jumping (startle reactions), (2) easy irritability progressing even to acts of violence, and (3) sleep disturbances including battle dreams, nightmares, and inability to fall asleep.
        ———
        Do you think ANY OF THEM IN THE MIDDLE EAST get away from this condition??
        ISIS is the ‘cream of the crop’.
        And, for the palestinians, ONE day of quiet is a ‘victory’ of life, I suppose.
        Looking for a lifetime of it never quite occurs to them.

      3. Maborlz Ez-Hari Avatar
        Maborlz Ez-Hari

        But I was told arabs are smart, they invented the stars and stuff?

        1. $89733098 Avatar
          $89733098

          See how u twist things? When did I ever say they “invented the stars”? I’m starting to lose faith in u

          1. Maborlz Ez-Hari Avatar
            Maborlz Ez-Hari

            Loooooool, its my duty as a lebanese Australian living in granville to tease my friends. Cheap shots are a way of saying ” im thinking about you” and you are an exception you are not a stupid arab far from it. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx

          2. $89733098 Avatar
            $89733098

            I’m not Arab.

          3. Maborlz Ez-Hari Avatar
            Maborlz Ez-Hari

            Well then that explains your intelligence

          4. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            LOLOLOLOL ….. nice one. 😉 She HAS to be laughing …

          5. Joe Deno Avatar

            You are a dryed up fat brood that has nothing else to do.lose some weight maybe you will get a bull dike …

          6. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            YOU are really ‘out to lunch’ on that one.
            (can’t say fat and dryed up – makes no sense at all – one or the other)
            (one person can’t be a ‘brood’)

          7. $89733098 Avatar
            $89733098

            yes honey i am a “dryed up fat brood” 🙂

        2. sweetvirgo Avatar
          sweetvirgo

          Maborlz, are you going crazy too?? ;)))) LOL

          1. Maborlz Ez-Hari Avatar
            Maborlz Ez-Hari

            Just trying to fit in.

          2. sweetvirgo Avatar
            sweetvirgo

            Great job!! ;)))

          3. $89733098 Avatar
            $89733098

            Sweetstupidity u aren’t going mad, u R mad.

      4. the rounds of fighting are only becoming more violant with every round. here in Israel many people just don’t understand why we’re not simply demolishing Gaza and have it over with- one quick move and no one left alive to fire another rocket- this is how fed up we’re with Gaza and it’s constant stinging. and i have to warn you- this day will come. if not in the next round then in the one after or one of the later rounds, but it will happen .there is a limit for the times the fox can irritate the wolf well i have a suggestion :
        next time (there will be a next time) Hamas goes to war against Israel, instead of standing by the “courageous Hamas” against the brutal Israelis- condemn it.
        instead of shouting “death to Israel” , shout “life for Gaza”.
        instead of burning Israeli flags -demonstrate against Hamas and make the point very clear that you do not support the way Hamas murders his own people (Israel is the tool here but the hands are Hamas’s hands)
        the consensus support that Muslims all over extend to this murderer’s gang is the reason that the sights you see here today ,will also be here next year, maybe in 2 years if we’re lucky.
        Israel will not back down from defending our citizens, territory and interests. if the Palestinian authority demonstrates it doesn’t mind loosing thousands of it’s people for a “victory pic” then we sure as hell wouldn’t back down from it when it comes to saving our own people’s life!
        the people of Gaza can give up any hope of beating Israel military.the only chance for the people of Gaza to ever experience quiet and prosperity is through the acceptance of Israel.

        1. Anti ISIS Avatar
          Anti ISIS

          Just remember Doron, we must always learn from the past to understand what the present holds for us. Every country who thought they were or are above all others eventually fell and fell hard. Israel is that country today. The day will come when Israel will feel the same pain it has inflicted on other. You are chosen people, chosen for a hard and extremely bumby fall.

    4. arzatna1 Avatar

      Surprised you are surprised !!!
      This is the mentality of the so called resistance groups
      Yesterday Hamas chief was begging Obama to intervene and stop the war .
      Once the war stopped Hamas declared victory

      Hezbollah did the same in 2006 .
      Berri on behalf of Hezbollah begged Siniora to put pressure on Bush to intervene and stop the war .
      Once the war stopped Hezbollah declared divine victory even though 1200 Lebanese were killed vs 158 Israelis.
      After the war was over Hezbollah tried to bring down Siniora’s govt.
      and the rest of the story is now history

      1. Greetings Arzatna and a good observation on both accounts, I am not surprised but very troubled by the hidden horror that is already forgotten of the ones who have not had a chance to grieve, eat, sleep,shower, broken legs, missing limbs,many disfigured and many more that probably lost their sight, and months of horrible living conditions before they rebuild again and guess what? another episode will start all over.

        Any normal compassionate decent human being will have his senses reserved first and formost for the civilians and how they are effected, this is how I allways felt for both sides of the border, when war breaks out, Good people pay the largest share of the price while someone deems their suffering a victory. if you live in the us you probably have seen all the coverage over the loss of one life in feguson misouri but I doubt any reporters are heading to Gaza to interview the family of more than 2000. victory?

    5. Leborigine Avatar
      Leborigine

      It’s like Schrodinger’s cat. It could be either dead or alive! No one knows until you look into the box, but the very act of looking into the box, could alter the result.

    6. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      I’m wondering how they got rid of all the bodies. In Tripoli it seems a difficulty.
      And after almost a week, a body begins to smell a bit. Maybe Lebanon is too civilized.
      I suggested the ‘Funeral Pyre’ at the beach and some gasoline. They are used to burning tyres.
      Stack tyres, put body on top, add 2 gallons gas, throw a match and stand back.
      Where no-one helps, you have to do things yourself.

  2. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    “disastrous situation, almost unimaginable.” ….
    Did they watch the films of Syria? Don’t need imagination.

    Don’t send new gravel & cement … send one of the machines to grind it all back to dust for re-use.
    THAT would provide jobs for a long time. And the material they want to build a dock with.
    (assuming they don’t need it to reinforce new tunnels ….)

  3. MekensehParty Avatar
    MekensehParty

    It’s a lose-lose for the fanatics on both sides
    and a win-win for those who want peace on both sides

  4. sweetvirgo Avatar
    sweetvirgo

    The Palestians should not be celebrating anything. What did they win?? Over 2000 civilians dies. How many of the dead were Hamas?? Around 60?? And they have the nerve to celebrate?? What about the people that are in mourning? They lost loved one’s that will never come back. So many children. They didn’t win anything. Stop celebrating because you didn’t win…NEITHER side won anything.

    1. “How many of the dead were Hamas?? Around 60?? ” IF you can bring yourself to believe Hamas’s words on it ,it leaves you with a troubled mind..where were all the Hamas fighters that promised to defend the citizens?hiding in rat holes and waiting for the storm to pass?
      or..you could believe israel when it says the majority of dead are Hamas fighters. it also sits well with the observation BBC made that most killed are men 20-30 years old and that the percentage of women and children is very low in compare- leading the thinking person to conclude that most dead are really fighters from Hamas and not civilians as Hamas claims.

      which leads us to another conclusion: Hamas is lying while Israel stay true to the facts…
      can’t wait to Hague

      1. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
        Comtessa di Alba

        War crimes..you mean Israeli?

  5. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    Iran believes Hamas AND it’s own rhetoric so well, they now have these statements coming out ….
    “Iranian military leaders on Tuesday vowed that Tehran would take military action against Israel in response to an alleged Israeli drone that was shot down in Iran on Sunday.”
    Obviously ‘someone’ wants to keep the kettle boiling …..

    1. sweetvirgo Avatar
      sweetvirgo

      Iran is sending a message to Israel that they will strike, hamas is telling their people to go out into the streets and celebrate that they won……I swear people have lost their minds. This world has gone crazy.

    2. well …
      we responde to the declaration of a “surprise” irani attack with a “surprise” retaliation that will tear down iran…
      i love all these declarations from iran…they can’t hold water and with every warning they issue, the people intended to hear it (hint: not Israelis )are less eager to believe it.
      the people of Gaza knows that Iran will do nothing for them if it doesn’t serve iran

  6. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
    Comtessa di Alba

    Israeli parents raised the most virulent racist teenagers today.. not seen since the Nazis. We look at our youth as the light of Humanity, the future of Humanity looks bleak..in Israel they’re calling for death to Holocaust survivors that don’t agree with them, say Hitler made a mistake not killing them.

  7. poppycock Avatar
    poppycock

    Hamas lie as good as they fight.

    The celebration that has been forced upon the Palestinian people is for their happiness and relief that the fighting has ended and their suffering has stopped. The rest is Hamas once again hiding behind the civilians trying to spin their way out of a humiliating defeat.

    Nobody is fooled but the fools who print the headlines!

  8. such a glorious victory…

  9. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    Woman killed in Gaza – by celebratory gunfire
    From AP:
    In Gaza City, a 20-year-old woman was killed and several dozen people were wounded by celebratory gunfire after the truce was announced.
    The Gaza NGO Safety Office elaborates:
    1 Palestinian fatality and 20 injuries as a result of celebratory heavy shooting in the air. These terrorists sure know how to throw a party!

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