Thursday, 20 May 2021

Ceasefire Agreed Between Israel and Hamas

The Israeli Security Cabinet has voted in favour of a ceasefire with Hamas to begin at 2am Palestinian time (midnight UK time). Israel, however, is still dropping bombs on Gaza at the time of this article's publication. Hamas had demanded an end to forced evictions in Sheik Jarrah and access to the Al Aqsa mosque. It claims Israel has agreed to these demands, but a spokesman for the Israeli government insisted the ceasefire is "unconditional".

Israel had ominously stated their 11-day invasion would not end until there was complete calm, but it appears the international outcry has forced a change of plans. The unexpectedly large quantity of weapons Hamas has stockpiled may have also influenced the decision. Clearly, this was not going to be the easy fight Netanyahu had expected.

Egypt, Qatar and the UN had acted as mediators and called for Israel to end aggression which has killed at least 256 civilians and 69 children, according to the UN. The invasion has resulted in the destruction of a school, hospital, media offices, houses and apartment buildings across Gaza. Horrifyingly, a Gazan refugee camp was bombed, and vital infrastructure, including electricity and water supplies, was damaged or destroyed.

While the Israeli government had the support of British, German and American leaders, they have clearly lost control of the narrative on social media. Palestinians are winning hearts and minds at a rate we have not seen before, certainly in recent years.

We've seen politicians and celebrities speaking out against the ethnic cleansing and we have seen video footage from Palestinians on social media, painting a very different picture to that of the mainstream media. It seems that solidarity may have just saved lives.

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