Israel and Hamas claim victory as fragile ceasefire holds

UN urges calm after Israeli police storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound following Friday prayers.
A ceasefire agreement reached between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip appeared to be holding, but there have been tensions in occupied East Jerusalem where Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and fired tear gas at Palestinians after Friday prayers. The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into effect in the early hours of Friday after 11 days of relentless Israeli bombing of the besieged enclave and thousands of rockets launched into Israel by Hamas, the group governing the Strip.
Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank poured onto the streets to celebrate the ceasefire, waving flags and flashing the “V” sign for victory.
Israel’s bombardment of Gaza killed at least 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, and brought widespread devastation to the already impoverished territory.
On the Israeli side, 12 people, including two children, were killed.
Jordanians celebrate ‘victory of the resistance’
Thousands of people demonstrated on Friday in Jordan to celebrate the “victory of the resistance” against Israel.
Responding to a call by the Muslim Brotherhood, some 10,000 people, according to AFP journalists, gathered in the Sweimeh region near the border with the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Demonstrators carried banners reading: “Jerusalem is the symbol of victory”, “congratulations on the victory of the resistance” and “the resilience of Gaza led to victory”.
Unity – the most important victory, Palestinians say
Nida Ibrahim, reporting from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, says many Palestinians are highlighting their unity as the most important victory.
“[People] were telling us that Hamas was able to unite the Palestinian people under the resistance flag,” Ibrahim said.
Palestinians say they are happy with the general strike held on Tuesday as it united Palestinians living in Israel, in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, she said.
“They were striking in one day which is the first time in decades that they were able to do that … many people tell us that it’s clear now that Israel doesn’t understand the language of peace, the language of negotiation, but rather the language of force.”
‘Hamas is selling itself as saviour of Palestinian people’
Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said that Hamas is selling itself to Palestinians as “the ones that are able to come to the defence”.
“If we are going to take away anything from this, is that Hamas [is] now selling [itself] as the saviour of the Palestinian people, and it is up to the Palestinian people to support them. That’s the overarching message that Hamas is trying to get out,” Khan said. – Al Jazeera