But it is not finished. Israeli drones are constantly buzzing above their heads. And the events of the past 11 days are just beginning to materialize. The raw emotions of fear and dread, loss and anger, will persist.
In Al-Wahdah Street, Israeli airstrikes caused three buildings to collapse in the middle of the night last Sunday – killing more than 40 people. Five days later, an endless stream of locals pass by and gaze at the mounds of jagged concrete and twisted metal. On top of one of these mounds is a bright red teddy bear, its head separated from its body.
Sixty-seven-year-old Mahmoud Abu Al-Aouf lives a few blocks away, but one of the buildings housed members of his extended family, most of them now deceased.
It checks the deceased parents. “My cousin, my sister, her son, her children, my niece and her children,” he says. Among the dead was Dr Ayman Abu Al-Aouf, chief of internal medicine at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. He was in charge of the hospital’s Covid-19 department.
“He had just come home from work,” recalls Mahmoud. “And then he was killed.
Another family member, Ala Abu Al-Aouf, was in his nearby store when the Israeli bombs struck.
“I ran out, saw dust and rubble, and heard screaming and screaming,” he says.
Eventually, rescuers pulled the bodies of his two daughters, Shaima, 21, and Ruwan, 19, from the ruins.
Ala, 48, says the IDF has given no warning. “Our souls to them [the Israelis] are cheaper than a phone call. They could have called and said “Evacuate the building!” Want to hit tunnels? Hit them! “He said.” But you have to warn us. We are civilians. We have nothing to do with it. ”
Israel says it was targeting the neighborhood tunnels. When one of them collapsed, neighboring buildings also disappeared. The IDF said earlier this week that an investigation was underway into the ammunition used.
Gripping her baby, Kareem, a teacher who refused to give her name, came to inspect what was once Ala’s home.
Her house down the street shook as if an earthquake had struck, she recalls. “I grabbed my kids and hugged them,” she says. “I thought that was it. I’m going to die. It was like judgment day had come.”
One of his students was among those killed in the airstrike that night.
Next to the ruins of Al-Wahdah Street, members of the military wing of Hamas, dressed in black combat fatigues and balaclavas, march past.
Despite the death, despite the destruction, Hamas presents the war as a victory.
On the evening of May 10, he launched his first barrage of missiles on Israel, demanding that Israeli security forces leave Haram Al-Sharif, the Temple Mount, which is home to Islam’s third holiest site, the Al Aqsa mosque. He dubbed his campaign “The Sword of Jerusalem”, posing as the defender of the holiest Muslim site in Jerusalem against Israel, who in turn called his air and artillery campaign a “Guardian of the Walls,” in reference to the walls of the old city of Jerusalem.
It is not since the outbreak of the second Intifada two decades ago that the symbolism of Jerusalem has not been so developed.
This fourth war between the State of Israel and Hamas ended inconclusive. Both sides claim victory. As they always do. Israel claims to have crippled Hamas’s ability to launch rocket attacks.
Hamas claims that for 11 days it paralyzed much of Israel with these rockets. It closed Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport and opened gaping cracks in the already fragile community relations within Israel between its Jewish and Arab citizens, some of whom identify strongly as Palestinians, and unleashed a wave of demonstrations and massive clashes in the West. Bank between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.
The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, 85, appeared to be a helpless bystander, launching empty rhetoric at Israel as Hamas launched rockets.
The ceasefire in Gaza is just that: a cessation of fire. This is not a guarantee of lasting calm, nor of anything approaching a semblance of peace.
The root causes of this century-old conflict for the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea have not disappeared.
For more than a decade, the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem, where Palestinian families face eviction, has been a regular hotspot.
In Jerusalem, Palestinian residents, nearly 40% of the population, pay taxes and carry Israeli identity cards, but the vast majority are not Israeli citizens. Among other things, they cannot vote in national elections and receive only a fraction of municipal funds compared to Jewish residents.
The fourth Gaza-Israel conflict is over. The definition of insanity, they say, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Four times now, Israel and the factions in Gaza have engaged in these deadly exchanges. And since everything else remains the same, a fifth round, and a sixth and maybe more, cannot be ruled out. In fact, most Gazans expect another war. And as in 2014, and this time each side will almost certainly declare victory. It fits too perfectly with the definition of insanity.
You Can Read Also