It was wonderful to hear/read/see the cease fire between Israel and Hamas is holding despite continued civil discord in Israel. In the past, cease fires have proven to be quite fragile with truces lasting mere hours or days. I am hopeful that the fighting has ended.
The fighting has ended after an 11 day onslaught of over 4,300 rockets launched into Israel that were intended to create as much destruction and deaths as possible. It was only thanks to the Iron Dome defense system and the significant investment in safe rooms and bunkers that the Israel death toll was not greater.
We can only hope for a permanent peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Yet, even with the hope, we all have to acknowledge that a meaningful peace agreement will, at a minimum, require Hamas (Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist organizations and splinter groups) to "lay down their arms," change its violent ideology and change its goals and aspirations. A terrorist group whose charter calls for the creation of an Islamic state in place of Israel and the obliteration or dissolution of Israel, can not be permitted to fire across the boarder at Israelis--Israel has the absolute right to defend the country and its people.
All people can mourn for the innocent Palestinian and Israeli lives lost on both sides of the conflict.
May this ceasefire represent a first step towards a lasting peaceful coexistence. Only time will tell.