Middle East

Gaza conflict: Reaction to the ceasefire

Palestinian boys celebrate the ceasefire, Gaza City (21 Nov)

After more than a week of fighting, a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has begun.

The announcement was made in Egypt, which has been leading mediation efforts.

People in Israel and Gaza give their reaction to the news:

Ramy, Gaza City

I'm now really satisfied that after eight days of bombing we have a ceasefire. We were really scared about a possible ground invasion, especially after leaflets were dropped.

We've lost a lot of people this week. I know of a family about half a mile from my house that has been wiped out. I haven't been outside since the operation started but I will go out tomorrow and I expect I will see lots of damage.

People are celebrating in the streets, we've been in a war but we are now hopeful that the siege might be lifted.

I studied a Masters degree at Oxford and only returned to Gaza just two weeks before the bombing started. I'm unemployed at the moment but I hope to start looking for a job.

I hope the ceasefire will last, I believe both sides want peace.

Joel, Ashkelon

I'm quite upset that we have a ceasefire. I believe Israel hasn't achieved anything. About an hour after it was declared I heard one of the Iron Dome rockets bringing down a missile.

Public opinion here is that we don't want a ceasefire. I believe we've lost in the eyes of the world - I think in a few months time we'll pay for this.

There is great sympathy for the Gaza citizens; they're as much victims of Hamas as we are.

I've amazed myself with how stoic I've been recently. Were it not for my partner I wouldn't have gone to the stairwell of my home as I feel that living on the north-east side of the building we occupy is a safe spot.

People are amazed when they see me out in the town shopping, but I've been very pragmatic about this whole situation. I'm not going to leave Ashkelon. I've been here for six months and my partner is Ashkelonian.

We realise that the average man in the street in Gaza is not the enemy, we should be working with them. What we need is peace.

Ibrahim, Gaza City

I've just seen on the TV that the ceasefire has been announced. I am delighted. It is what we want.

I am the breadwinner looking after 11 family members including my wife, two children, parents and five sisters.

We have spent a whole week now in the house since the escalation of air strikes. It is very hard to go outside, it's just not safe. The bombs are targeting civilians and they fall from the air and also come from warships. We are watching the news all the time when we can and we haven't slept.

Every day, the electricity is turned off for eight hours. It's winter here so it is cold but inside the house we are OK. We have enough food and water but medicines are running out. My elderly father has a heart condition and I haven't been able to get any medicine for him. Everything is closed. I can't go to work and I can't go to the shops.

Lately I've seen lots of trucks evacuating people from north of Gaza. The refugees are staying in UN schools.

People don't want this situation to continue, we all want this ceasefire. There has to be an end to this cycle of violence.

I worry so much for my children. My son, who is five years old, has started to think that this way of life is normal. He was watching the TV looking at the children dying, my wife quickly jumped up and turned off the TV but he shouted: "I want to see this." Later he said that he didn't want to do his homework "until the war ends". I am so worried that he knows what war is like.

Michael, Tel Aviv

The ceasefire is good. I'm glad, I believe that many people had hoped for more to be achieved at the peace talks in Egypt but it's good to have some time out from the conflict.

I've lived through previous ceasefires and obviously they haven't worked to bring about long-term peace. Sadly, I don't think this ceasefire is any different. Hamas wants to eliminate Israel, so they won't give up.

I wish they would give up.

My friend in the south hasn't left his home in a week now. He says that riding the bus is too dangerous so everyone is staying indoors. Also, some universities have closed and a lot of the students have moved to the north where it is a bit safer.

I heard on the news about the bomb blast which hit a bus. But it was quite far from where I am. In Tel Aviv it has actually got a bit better because all the attacks are in the south. Generally, Tel Aviv has had fewer rockets so no alarms.

Life is a bit better but it is very depressing.

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