Israel and Hamas agreed to an Egyptian brokered peace plan on Tuesday, causing celebrations on the streets of Gaza.
After seven weeks of fighting, more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed, as well as 64 IDF soldiers, and five Israeli civilians, leaving both sides war weary and finally ready to agree on a long term truce.
Peace was the first priority of the deal, and the two sides have agreed to push back discussions on more complex issues, including demands for a Gaza sea port, the demilitarisation of the area, and prisoner exchanges, for future negotiations to begin within a month.
However, under the current deal Hamas has agreed to immediately halt all rocket fire towards Israel and Israel will stop all military action within Gaza including air strikes and ground operations.
Israel has also agreed to extend Gaza’s fishing limits off the coast to six miles and to open its border crossing with Gaza a little wider to allow the easier flow of goods, such as food, medicine, and building materials, into the area.
In a separate agreement, Egypt has agreed to end its siege of Gaza and open its border at Rafah.
The Palestinian Authority (PA), under President Mahmoud Abbas, will take over responsibility for administering Gaza’s borders with Israel and Egypt, with the hope that this will reduce the flow of weapons and “dual use” goods into the area.
The PA will also co-ordinate the reconstruction efforts in Gaza with funds coming from international donors such as the European Union.