Column – Happy with the quiet skies, hopeful for a permanent truce

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, November 28, 2023

War is ugly and destructive. It causes pain and sorrow, loss of lives, and destruction of properties and infrastructures. It displaces people, especially families, young and old. 

Children, especially who are innocent victims of war (because they can be collateral damages), are traumatized. Even the women and the elderly, who are helpless and hapless, are vulnerable to every form of attack and mistreatment or maltreatment.

I, for one, hate war. I love peace. I love my freedom … I want the world to be a safe, peaceful place to live. We all should live in harmony with each other, irrespective of race, religion, political affiliation, beliefs and faith. Peaceful negotiations and resolutions should prevail in any conflict or crisis, if possible.

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I’d like to share with you a scenario of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza:

There are no sounds of Israeli planes. Can you guys hear? There’s a truce. When I heard about the truce, I got really happy. But this truce is temporary, only four days. Oh God, I pray that this truce will improve our conditions and become permanent. I swear life is beautiful like this, without the sounds of drones. I got so happy; I swear I got so happy.”

Such was a positive remark or statement by this happy young Palestinian boy from Gaza in a YouTube short video I saw on my smartphone a day after Thanksgiving Day 2023 in America. 

Reactions from viewers (those who saw the video of this young Palestinian boy with a genuine smile and happiness, hope and optimism) were overwhelming.

News circulating worldwide on Oct. 7-8 caught the world’s attention: Israel declared war on Gaza after an attack by the Islamic/Palestinian resistance force Hamas on Oct. 7 killed about 1,200 Israelis and held about 240 hostages.

At least 14,800 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza since then. The majority of the victims were children and women.

While the Israel-Hamas war continued to escalate, ongoing negotiations were held by nations like Qatar, Egypt, and the U.S. After almost 50 days of the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, a cease-fire agreement was reached.

Friday, Nov. 24, was the start of the 4-day Israel-Hamas cease fire agreement mediated by Qatar, Egypt, and the U.S. The cease fire agreement stipulates the exchange of captives/hostages and detainees/prisoners. As part of the cease fire deal, Israel agreed not to fly drones in Gaza for six hours a day.

According to the U.N., Israel’s war on Gaza has displaced 80% of the 2.3. million Palestinians.

Meanwhile, there’s a growing call by U.N.-member states for a 2-state solution to address the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite discussions for a 2-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians have repeatedly failed before the war.

Hopefully and prayerfully, the Israel-Hamas cease fire is permanent, and a lasting peaceful solution or resolution is achieved or accomplished by both parties for the sake of humanity and peace, not only in the Middle East but around the world. Same thing between Ukraine and Russia—that war in Ukraine should end and that peace prevails.