Israel-Palestine ceasefire: Netanyahu 'more powerful' says expert
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The truce was announced on Thursday evening following a meeting of the Israeli security cabinet amid mounting calls from the international for a de-escalation in Gaza. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now “more powerful” according to Sky News’s Mark Stone. Meanwhile, Hamas has seen its military capabilities degraded “massively,” according to the Middle East correspondent.
Mr Stone told Sky News viewser: “In terms of what’s been achieved well politically Benjamin Netanyahu is now more powerful than he was 12 days ago when he was fighting for his political life.
“Militarily the Israelis have managed to degrade Hamas’s capabilities massively.
“However it is worth stressing they were surprised by how capable Hamas was at being able to strike places like Tel Aviv.”
In a statement confirming the ceasefire, Israel’s security cabinet said the decision had been “accepted unanimously”.
The statement read “The Political Security Cabinet unanimously accepted the recommendation of all security officials, the chief of staff, the head of the Shin Bet [internal security agency], the head of the Mossad [foreign intelligence] and the head of the National Security Council, to accept the Egyptian initiative for a bilateral unconditional ceasefire, which will take effect at a later date.
“The chief of staff, the military echelon and the head of the GSS reviewed before the ministers Israel’s great achievements in the campaign, some of which were unprecedented.
“The political echelon emphasizes that the reality on the ground will determine the continuation of the campaign.”
On the Palestinian side, Hamas announced the ceasefire would be “mutual and simultaneous”.
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Mr Stone said: “For Hamas, they can claim that they put themselves at the centre of the quest for Palestinian equality, Palestinian statehood.”
He added: “But where does it leave the people? Well, Gaza in a mess again and in terms of that elusive two-state solution.
“The core problems here in Israel Palestine nothing has changed here at all.”
In total, at least 230 people have been killed in the Hamas controlled territory in the recent clashes while in Israel, 12 people have been killed, including two children.
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Fighting erupted on May 10 after Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad began launching rockets into Israel from Gaza after Israeli security forces and Palestinians in East Jerusalem clashed around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a highly sensitive holy site in the Old City.
In response, the Israeli airforce has carried out multiple sorties against infrastructure and militant linked targets across Gaza.
Some experts have feared fighting may continue right up to the ceasefire which has been set for 2 am local time on Friday.
Times of Israel contributor Tal Schneider told Times Radio: “I have to tell you that in the last 24 hours before the ceasefire we usually see lots of violence.”
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