So… who has won the Gaza war?
An agreement has been reached, but one ultimate umbrella question remains. If the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas holds, who has emerged victorious from the 50-day Gaza war?
On Sunday, the Palestinian death toll had exceeded 2,100 and the Israeli destruction of Gazan infrastructure had been ramped up to target Hamas offices in high-rise buildings. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers and six civilians were killed.
Then, an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire calling for an indefinite halt to hostilities was struck.
“If Hamas abide by their commitment to cease all hostilities against Israel then both the Israeli and Palestinian people will be the winners. Time will tell,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Paul Hirschson told Al Arabiya News on Wednesday.
Both sides are claiming achievements but major sticking points remain.
Israel’s goal of demilitarizing Gaza has not been reached with Hamas in control of Gaza with part of its military arsenal still intact.
Meanwhile, Hamas’ previous demands for Israel and Egypt to lift border closures imposed in 2007 have also not been fully met, with Israel confirming it would “ease” its blockade of the hemmed-in enclave to allow humanitarian and construction materials to enter the Palestinian territory.
Below you can find the immediate steps to the deal in full. But apart from an agreement that intends to guarantee a period of calm, can either Hamas or Israel really claim victory?
“The long-term ceasefire agreed between Israel and Hamas is neither a defeat nor a victory for any side,” Lina Khatib, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center, told Al Arabiya News on Monday.
“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one in which all wars have had no winners because the human cost of the wars negates their military gains,” added Khatib.
Still, the unfulfillment of both sides’ full initial demands has not stopped celebrations in the Gaza Strip. Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement on Sunday: “Today we declare the victory of the resistance, today we declare the victory of Gaza.”