Breakin’: Gaza cease-fire…hot!


Okay, so those (surprisingly sexy) Israeli soldiers don’t seem to care that Hamas dude is flipping them the bird. Maybe they are practicing peaceable interaction?

Yesterday Israel and Hamas ended—or, paused—the war in Gaza which began three weeks ago. Or two years ago (when Hamas won control of the Palestinian Authority, which made Israel mad, since Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel as, like, a legit country). Or twenty-two years ago (1987, when Hamas was founded). Or, like, sixty (1948, when Israel was established and the Palestinians got kicked off their land).

Both sides have promised not to shoot or bomb each other for one whole week, now that the conflict has claimed the lives of almost 1300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. This current chapter began December 27, when Israel launched an offensive into Gaza to get Hamas to stop firing rockets at them. Hamas justifies the rockets’ red glare because it sees Israel as an occupier on Palestinian land. The ceasefire is set to last one week, in which time Hamas wants Israel out of Gaza, or else they’ll start shooting again.

It’s like a game of chicken—Hamas won’t pack up its rockets until Israel withdraws, but Israel won’t leave until they believe that Hamas really, really, REALLY means it this time about no more rockets. During an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire last year, Hamas still fired away.

The AP is already reporting that “neither side achieved long-term goals,” and the BBC has the ominous headline “Cease fire may not end Gaza war.”

Um, you think?


Middle East Conflict in Maps

Parsing Gains of Gaza War

Word Up: Hamas – the Arabic acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement, dating back to 1987.

Gaza – part of Palestine controlled by Egypt afer Israel was founded in 1948. Annexed by Israel in the 1967 war. It is 25 miles long and between 4 and 8 miles wide.

The Palestinian Authority – the organization charged with governing the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, formed in 1994 as part of an agreement between Palestinian groups and Israel.

By the Numbers: 13 – the number of Israelis killed in the conflict
1300 – estimated number of Palestinians killed


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