Indefinite Gaza ceasefire begins

August 27, 2014 - 2:35:20 am
Hamas supporters hold up a rocket as they celebrate a ceasefire in Gaza City yesterday.

GAZA: The war in Gaza ended yesterday after Israel and the Palestinians agreed to halt fighting indefinitely.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Palestinian Authority and Israel agreed on an open-ended ceasefire beginning at 7pm yesterday. As the ceasefire brokered by Cairo came into effect, Gaza echoed with celebratory gunfire.

Israel will open crossings on its border to allow aid and construction materials to enter Gaza, and extend the permitted fishing zone to six miles off Gaza. The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt will also be opened.

More difficult issues will be deferred for further indirect talks between the two parties in a month. They include Hamas’s demands for an airport and seaport in Gaza and the release of Palestinian prisoners, and Israel’s insistence on the disarmament of militant groups and the return of the remains of two of its soldiers killed in the fighting.

In a televised address, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas thanked the Egyptians, Qataris and US Secretary of State John Kerry for their efforts to secure a ceasefire.