On Sunday, the Hamas-Israel cease-fire held for a third day even as authorities in Gaza and global Health Agencies rushed to treat 1900 people injured by the Israeli air raids.
In Jerusalem, Israeli police, without incident, admitted Jewish visitors to a contested holy place at the Al-AQSA Mosque compound admired by both Muslims and Jews. Clashes at Al-AQSA were among the precipitating incidents that triggered eleven days of cross-border attacks between Hamas’s militants and Israeli forces in the Gaza strip before a cease-fire came into effect on Friday (May 21) at 2 AM.
Since 2014, the worst fighting in the region left thirteen dead in Israel, and 248 people in Gaza, whose Iron Dome Air Defense System knocked down numerous missiles fired from Gaza side.
With the immediate fight halted, Antony Blinken, U.S. State Secretary, said that America believes it is time for a settlement that grants equal measures of rights for the Palestinians and Israelis.
Palestinians need to feel hope to living in security and self-respect
Antony Blinken told ABC’s show This Week that Palestinians need to feel hope to living in security and self-respect in a Palestinian state. Moreover, he said Joe Biden remains committed to a two-state solution with a separate Palestinian state but acknowledged it wasn’t necessarily something for that day.
Blinken blamed Hamas’s militants for the recent fighting, saying Hamas has carried nothing but destruction to the Palestinian people.
Many civic structures in Gaza were ruined by the Israeli barraging, making it more challenging to treat the wounded and deal with COVID-19 cases surge brought on Palestinians crowding into community centers and underground bomb shelters to prevent the violence.
A three-time Nobel Prize Laureate, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said it was sending medical apparatus and supplies to Gaza to treat the wounded and cope with the collapsed infrastructure. Water supplies have been cut by forty percent in Gaza, and 0.7 million people are affected by power outages.
The United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, Lynn Hastings, told the media that the international COVAX vaccine program run by the WHO and other institutions intentions to ship COVID-19 vaccine shots to Gaza within days. Currently, less than forty-thousand Gazans have been immunized, less than two percent of the population.
Israel stated it performed its best to prevent civilian casualties in the clash, blaming Hamas for rockets’ firing that targeted Israelis.
Democratic legislators called for an end to American armaments sales to Israel
Mark Regev, an adviser to PM of Israeli, told Fox News on Sunday that the Israeli air raids had dealt Hamas a heavy blow and uttered hope it would serve as a deterrent.
Some progressive United States Democratic legislators have called for an end to American armaments sales to Israel, including a pending delivery worth 735M dollars, in the belief that such armaments deals generate more conflict in the area.
The royal court wrote on Twitter that King Abdullah called for ‘stepping up international and Arab efforts to translate the cease-fire into an extended truce to push for a political resolution that fulfills the legal rights of Palestinians.’
Gaza has entered its third day of the ceasefire, but we can confirm it is not a truce yet.
1- The only individual and commercial crossings of Gaza are still closed
2- and there is a full ban on fishing
3- 3 electricity hours/ day.
4-no seem progress in negotiation 🤦🏻♀️
— Hana Salah (@HanaSalahGaza) May 23, 2021
Before the cease-fire was reached, Sen. Bernie Sanders said that at a moment when America-made bombs are destroying Gaza and killing children and women, they couldn’t simply let another huge armament sale go through without even a United States Congressional discussion.
Reconstruction would cost millions of dollars
Sanders said that he believes America must help lead the way to a prosperous and peaceful future for Palestinians and Israelis. Moreover, they need to take a hard look at whether these weapons’ sale is essentially helping do that or whether it is only fueling clash.
Also, Blinken stated America believes in giving the Israeli state the means to defend itself against Palestinian rocket firing but said that any weapons sale would be done in full consultation with United States Congress.
During the recent Muslim holy month Ramadan, police raids in and near Al-AQSA Mosque, along with planned expulsions of Palestinians from residences claimed by Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem, ignited the Hamas rocket fires on 10th May and touched off the eleven days of fighting.
— Muhammad Smiry🇵🇸 (@MuhammadSmiry) May 23, 2021
In the meantime, Egyptian mediators have been traveling across the Gaza border and also met with Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian President, in the occupied West Bank, to sustain the cease-fire.
Palestinian authorities say the reconstruction would cost millions of dollars.
Abou Yahya was furious while sitting and drinking coffee under an olive tree near his demolished house in Gaza.
He said if he had fifty sons, he would tell them to go and fight Israel. Last week, an Israeli air raid hit his home, reducing it to rubble, and he has promised to sleep on the debris top. He said his family had asked him to leave it, not to sleep there, but he won’t budge.