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Onus with Israel for ceasefire to last

Israelis should understand that neither they nor others will enjoy peace unless Palestinians are given their rights

Gulf News

With the ceasefire in Gaza still holding for the third consecutive day, following the eight-day bloody war on the strip, hopes are rising once again on both sides that life will soon be back to normal.

The new positive element in the recent war, which helps in cementing peace, is the fact that people living as far as in occupied Jerusalem and Tel Aviv have become stake holders in seeing the ceasefire lasting longer than in previous wars.

The rockets that shelled cities that were previously safe from conflict have brought home a fact that they have now come within the reach of retaliation missiles and the interests of those living within the reach of fire must be taken into consideration while taking the decision to go to war in the future.

For now, it is clear that parties involved in the deal have the interest and the will to maintain the truce for some time to come, but this is not enough to stop the Israeli appetite to launch yet more wars on Gaza. The deal, which was brokered by Egypt, will not stand for as long as 15 years, originally proposed by Israel in the negotiation stages, and not even five years if Israel continues to ignore the rights of Palestinians to live normally.

How long can this peace be sustained? The answer is with the Israeli leaders, who tend to forget the lessons of the previous conflicts. Ignoring the basic needs of their neighbours, Israel’s approach to live in peace proved to be unrealistic and unfeasible in the long run and unless the Israelis change the way they perceive peace for themselves, the region will witness more conflict in coming years. Israel should be made to understand that unless Palestinians are given their minimum basic rights, as specified by the UN in its many resolutions since the formation of Israel some 65 years ago, the people in the region will never enjoy peace — including the Israelis themselves.

Counting on the Iron Dome or any other weapon is not going to guarantee peace.