Gazans celebrate ceasefire



Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets as celebration broke over a long-term truce agreement was reached on August 26.

As news spread that the seven-week Israeli assault on Gaza may have ended with a long term cease-fire agreement, the population of the battered strip flooded to the streets to celebrate.

The deal calls for an indefinite halt to hostilities, immediately opening Gaza’s blockaded crossings with Israel and Egypt and extending the fishing zone for Gaza's fisherfolk.

Israel and Palestine will also discuss building a Gaza seaport and the release of Hamas prisoners in the occupied West Bank in a second stage of the truce to resume in a month.

Crowds filled Gaza’s streets with car horns and chants from mosque loudspeakers.

Hamas spokeserson Sami Abu Zuhri said: "Today we declare the victory of the resistance, today we declare the victory of Gaza."

Meanwhile, Israel low-keyed response to the truce consisted of a statement issued by a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that declared Israel had accepted Egypt’s proposal for an “open-ended cease-fire” and would attend Cairo talks only if an end to rocket attacks from Gaza was guaranteed.

During the seven-week conflict, more than 2000 Palestinians were killed, and thousands of homes in the Gaza Strip were damaged or destroyed.

"We have mixed feelings," said Gaza teacher Ahmed Awf, 55, as he held his two-year-old son in his arms and joined in the street festivities. "We are in pain for the losses but we are also proud we fought this war alone and we were not broken."

Social networks quickly were flooded with images and video of the celebration, as supporters from all around the globe expressed their hope for a prolonged peace in Gaza. Among the celebrations, flags of Venezuela were also spotted.

[Reprinted from teleSUR English.]