Jubilant Gaza Residents Celebrate Truce

November 22, 2012, Thursday // 08:04
Bulgaria: Jubilant Gaza Residents Celebrate Truce
Palestinians celebrate news of the ceasefire with Israel in Gaza City on Wednesday, November 21. Photo by Getty Images

The announcement of a ceasefire deal reached between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement has set off ecstatic celebrations in Gaza.

Residents who had spent days sheltering from air strikes took to the streets overnight, waving flags and setting off fireworks.

Hamas's exiled political leader Khaled Meshaal said Israel's offensive had "failed" and that the deal met Hamas's main demands.

All the crossings into Gaza would re-open, including those with Egypt, Meshaal said.

In Gaza itself, Hamas spokesman Ihab Hussein hailed the truce as a victory.

"These people made this victory by their patience, by the blood of our people," he said.

"They (the Israelis) will open the borders, they will stop assassinating and killing our people. We will live in calm and in a peace[ful] situation."

n Israel, however, small protests were held in communities such as the southern town of Kiryat Malachi, where three people were killed by a Gaza rocket during the conflict, army radio said.

Protesters said the military should have hit Hamas harder and some banners denounced "agreements with terrorists".

Despite the ceasefire, Israeli schools within 40km of the Gaza Strip were being kept closed on Thursday as a precaution, the military said.

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