Gazans: Israel violated the truce

They say Tel Aviv has allowed only a trickle of food through the blockade.

Gaza pilgrims
Many Palestinian families in Gaza have had to rely on UN humanitarian assistance [GALLO/GETTY]


In June, Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed to a ceasefire following weeks of intense fighting in Gaza.

Under the terms of the ceasefire, Hamas and its affiliates would refrain from firing home-made rockets into Israel and the latter would halt incursions and attacks on the Gaza Strip.

The Egyptian-brokered agreement also called for an easing of Israel’s restrictions on the borders, thereby allowing goods into the besieged territory.

However, the fragile truce between Israel and Gaza was breached by an Israeli raid and Palestinian rocket fire on November 4.

Since then Israel has accused Gazan fighters of launching dozens of home-made rocket attacks at Israeli towns and the Hamas leadership has countered by saying Israeli air raids and military action have killed several Palestinians.  

The Israeli blockade on Gaza has sparked much international criticism as precipitating a looming humanitarian crisis in the Strip.

Al Jazeera spoke to residents of the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza about the truce, its effects, and whether it should be renewed.

Abed al-Raouf Saedallah, 61, works in a shop to support a family of 11  


The truce was a rest for both sides, Palestinians and Israelis alike, but Israel has never implemented its part of the agreement.

They kept the crossings closed, and there has been no gas, no electricity and no life even. I believe Israel was not committed to the truce because they are backed by the West and Eastern countries and they never care about what we want as Palestinians. 

All that matters to them is that they don’t want to hear any sound of a rocket attack.

From my point of view, Israel is trying to escalate their blockade in order to force Hamas and other Palestinian factions to accept the truce.

Every day there are statements in the Israeli media talking about a possible Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip. We Palestinians have nothing to lose either way.

With or without truce, our conditions are the same and nothing changes.

Huda*, 47, housewife  

Since six months ago, we have had almost no supplies through the crossings, no food, no medicine, no gas, no water. 

What truce are you talking about? I support the truce, but a truce that brings us basic rights as Palestinians, not a truce that is only good for Israelis … this served only one side, Israel.

I don’t think that the truce will be extended or that Israel will be committed to the conditions of the truce. So I am against the truce. 

However, if Israel was committed to the truce, then I would support it. How long must we be without food and many other basics? How long must we face such humiliating conditions while Israel gets all the support from world? Israel and the West are facing us from the front, and the Arabs from the back.

So no, I don’t think the truce will change anything.

Ismaeel Abu Khalil, 19, high school student who works in a grocery


The Palestinians were more committed to the truce than Israel, as the big Palestinian factions suspended the rocket attacks to nearby Israeli cities.

On the other hand, Israel opened the crossings partially but on most days closed them.

If the situation is maintained as it is now, I believe that Palestinian factions will reject the extension.

I am against the truce extension as it has not brought us anything and our lives have gotten more complicated.

Mueen Muhara, 28, formerly working in Israel; now unemployed  

With or without the truce we are in a dire humanitarian situation.

I think the Palestinian factions will not extend it, so we will go back to a cycle of violence, action and reaction, invasions, assassinations and so on.

I don’t expect Israel will do anything in favour of Palestinians, but they always do whatever helps them and only their side as long as they find support from the outside world.

Mohammed Omar, 55, labourer   


The truce is good for both sides.

Palestinians needed it as much as the Israelis, but on a humanitarian level it has changed nothing.

Israel needs the truce to be the way that best suits it, and I believe that the truce will be extended because everyone is interested in maintaining it.

With or without the truce we are very much a harmed and poor people, so at least I can be poor and safe, not poor and threatened. 

Aminah*, 60, widow (husband was killed in 2001 in an Israeli air raid) 

Our conditions as Palestinians are very difficult. People are burning wood to cook their food. 

I have no power in my home, so I sit in the street next to my house.

I don’t believe in the truce. 

Once I will see gas, electricity and food in the markets, then I will believe in the truce.

I am against any immediate extension of it, because it only serves Israel and not us. We are simple people who ask only for food and a simple life.

* Names have been changed for security reasons.

Source: Al Jazeera

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