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Israel, Hamas agree to terms of ceasefire

After an eight-day conflict that took the lives of many, Hamas, the political party currently governing Gaza, and Israel finally agreed on a cease-fire on Wednesday night.

Israel will halt all aggressive acts against the Gaza Strip from land, sea and air. This includes cross-border intrusions and targeted killings, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday. Palestinian groups are to cease rocket fire and attacks from Gaza toward Israel, specifically along the border.

Israel will also be committed to opening all border crossings and simplify the restrictions on movements of people and goods in and out of the territory, Al Jazeera reported.

Israel has received Western support from U.S. and European leaders. Leaders have said Israel has the right to self-defense with hopes to avoid civilian casualties, Reuters reported on Nov. 17.

Western leaders have “shunned” Hamas due to its lack of recognition toward Israel as a state. Hamas said its attacks resulted as a response to Israel’s violence against Palestinian fighters in Gaza, Reuters reported.

“I went to Israel last summer, through the Birthright program, and it’s tough to see a land so beautiful threatened with violence,” said Brian Weber, a junior policy studies major. “Israel has an obligation to protect its borders.”

Israel not only has U.S. military support on its side, but thousands of soldiers in its army reserves are ready to assist in ground invasion of Gaza, should it ever become necessary.

“It’s crazy how we are in college now while people who are the same age as us are required to serve in the army instead of being able to go straight to college,” Weber said, referencing the military service requirement for Israeli citizens.

Last week, Israeli cabinet ministers approved mobilizing up to 75,000 soldiers in the reserves after Hamas fired rockets at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, in addition to the 16,000 soldiers that had already been called up, Reuters reported. No ground invasion took place from either country in order to maintain cease-fire.

During her high school years, Rina Matsuno-Kankhetr, a freshman international relations major, attended a boarding school that had a close relationship with a school in Ramallah, Palestine. She said this relationship allowed her to create friendships with Palestinian students and see the conflict from their perspective.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so complex that there are no quick answers because the two groups have such a long history,” she said. “Like many long-lasting conflicts, it involves religious beliefs, third parties and so on.”

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