HomeOpinionCommentaryFour days of calm

Four days of calm

Palestinians leaving the north run through the Salaheddine road in the Zeitoun district on the southern outskirts of Gaza City on November 24, 2023, following a four-day ceasefire that began early in the morning. The truce in the Israel-Hamas war took effect at 7:00 am (0500 GMT) and appeared to be holding, under a deal that will see hostages released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

A temporary ceasefire was put into place, allowing for an exchange of hostages and a four days respite for Gazan

A ceasefire in Gaza commenced on Friday morning, at 7am local time, marking a temporary halt to the conflict. The initial phase involves the release of civilian hostages held in Gaza since October 7, scheduled to occur around 4 pm on Friday.

This ceasefire is set to endure for four days, covering both northern and southern Gaza, as stated by Hamas’s military wing. However, reports indicate continued hostilities, with Israeli occupation forces firing upon Palestinians attempting to return to their homes in northern Gaza. Many victims remain trapped under debris, impeding journalists from fully documenting the extent of the damage.

The significance lies in the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the ceasefire. Foreign ministers from Arab and Islamic countries recently visited several nations, including China, Russia, and the UK, advocating for an immediate and lasting ceasefire and urging humanitarian aid access to the region. Meanwhile, Lebanon maintains a “precarious calm,” despite ongoing tensions along the Lebanese-Israeli border involving exchanges of fire primarily between the Israeli army, Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, and Palestinian armed groups since October 7.

Hezbollah said they will abide by the ceasefire as long as Israel does not shoot along the borders. This ceasefire is also important for farmers to reach their crops, as many southern villages have been emptied of their people and crops have either been left unattended or endured heavy damages.

Furthermore, Six hours into the Gaza truce, an Israeli military spokesperson confirmed no incidents or firing along the Lebanon border. Additionally, Israeli warplanes dropped leaflets over southern Gaza, cautioning against returning to the north, as reported by AFP.

The military arm of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, Al-Quds Brigades, affirms its commitment to uphold the truce, contingent upon Israel’s compliance. However, the anticipated outcome of a complete ceasefire remains uncertain, leaving room for potential escalation at any moment.

The evaluation of Gaza’s damages will be a time-consuming process, requiring substantial efforts to assess and address the extensive destruction, with the healing process likely to be even lengthier.