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Gaza truce is Hamas victory - press

Palestinians inspect the wreckage of a car hit by an Israeli air strike n Khan Yunis, southern Gaza strip
The ceasefire aims to end months of clashes between Hamas and Israel

Palestinian and Israeli commentators consider the announcement of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as a success for the Islamist group.

Several believe the ceasefire shows that Hamas has established itself as a lasting political force, although one Palestinian writer says the border between Gaza and Egypt must now be opened if there is to be any improvement in the lives of Gaza's people.

Most Israeli commentators see the deal as a victory for Hamas, with one saying the agreement came about only because of the weakness of both governments.

DR ISAM SHAWAR IN PALESTINIAN FILASTIN

Hamas has proved that it is impossible to destroy or even weaken it... Hamas is still in control of the Gaza Strip and is running its affairs. In the end, Israel found that a truce with Hamas is the best and least damaging solution. Europe, too, discovered that it is impossible to ignore the movement politically.

IBRAHIM IBRASH IN PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM

The truce reflects a realistic recognition by Hamas of Israel and a clear acceptance to stop the resistance. Equally, Israel accepts co-existence not with a national unity government of which Hamas is a part, but with a Hamas government and authority exclusively.

HANI HABIB IN PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM

Twenty-four hours before the beginning of the truce, Israel raided Palestinian positions... This attack was not meant to hit the Palestinians as much as it was meant to convince the Israeli public that Israel had not accepted the ceasefire agreement out of weakness.

EDITORIAL IN PALESTINIAN AL-QUDS

If the ceasefire does not lead to lifting the siege of the Gaza Strip and to opening the crossings leading to it, this agreement will play no part in ending the suffering of Gaza's citizens.

AMIR RAPAPORT IN ISRAEL'S MA'ARIV

[Hamas] has succeeded in lifting the economic siege and also holding on to the Gilad Shalit 'card' by wearing Israel down... It is on the way to achieving the opening of the border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt which will grant it a de facto international status.

ZVI BAREL IN ISRAEL'S HA'ARETZ

The main points of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas grant the Islamic organisation a political and diplomatic achievement that will also give it a lever in its reconciliation talks with Fatah... Israel will no longer be able to monitor the Rafah crossing once it reopens, and a deal to free kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit will be discussed separately from the truce, as Hamas wanted.

ALEX FISHMAN IN ISRAEL'S YEDIOT AHARONOT

This settlement is becoming a reality for one reason: the two weak governments on both sides of the Gaza fence have an interest in its success... If this agreement is suddenly so vital for the interests of the State of Israel why had it been rejected all the time?... What has changed?

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



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SEE ALSO
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