Both Israel and Hamas have claimed victory in the Gaza war after the implementation of an open-ended truce.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was seen for the first time in weeks at a rally of thousands of flag waving Gazans where he praised the party’s military wing for remaining steadfast against Israeli air strikes:
“During the 51 days of war, the al-Qassam and the resistance had the upper hand. They started the war by firing their rockets on Haifa and ended the war by a strike on Haifa,” he said.
However the ceasefire has been agreed on ambiguous terms. Israel and Egypt’s blockade of Gaza has not been lifted and Hamas still has parts of its military arsenal intact.
With criticism at home Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on the defensive:
“I take this opportunity to say that if it resumes fire, we will not tolerate a sprinkle of shooting at any part of Israel, what we did in response now, we will respond even more vigorously,” warned the Israeli leader.
Israeli troops are remaining on the Gaza border, ready for any violation of the truce.
A UN Security Council resolution is being prepared to bolster the ceasefire with plans afoot to support reconstruction in the coastal strip.