Ceasefire in Gaza encouraging

‘After 50 days of violent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, it is encouraging that a ceasefire agreement has been reached,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

‘After 50 days of violent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, it is encouraging that a ceasefire agreement has been reached,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.  

At least 2100 Palestinians and 69 Israelis have been killed and many more people have been injured in the latest conflict in and around Gaza. The suffering of the civilian population in Gaza has been particularly severe. The scale of the devastation is massive, and greater than following the 2008­–2009 war. Egypt has acted as mediator, and a ceasefire agreement finally entered into force on Tuesday evening local time. 

‘I would like to commend Egypt for its efforts, which have led to the ceasefire agreement. It is now imperative that all parties comply with the agreement and refrain from further acts of violence,’ said Mr Brende. 

‘I am cautiously optimistic that the agreement will hold. In order for this to happen, the international community must immediately take steps to help solve the problems in Gaza. However, in the long term peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be achieved through negotiations and a political solution,’ said Mr Brende. 

Egypt and Norway are planning, together with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to convene an international donor conference in Cairo. 

‘Before the donors can agree to support reconstruction efforts yet again, certain political demands will have to be met. Palestine must be united under one government, led by President Abbas, with authority over the West Bank and Gaza. It is now crucial to lay the political and economic foundations needed to reduce the risk of renewed conflict and bring security to the civilian population on both sides,’ said Mr Brende.