The fragile semblance of peace achieved through a short truce can cast a deceptive calm over the war-torn regions. The final hours of the four-day truce loom large over Palestinians, who from the onset of the truce had mixed emotions as war will soon beckon on their doors.
With majority of buildings reduced to rubble, these displaced Palestinians do not even have doors; as such war will not knock but hit them like an unavoidable flood.
The knowledge that the hopeful ceasefire can shift abruptly to the harsh reality of renewed violence only leads to heightened stress and anxiety.
Though there was a sense of relief in the release of Palestinian prisoners, one can not shake off the feeling that the freed prisoner is not indeed “free” as their life is equally in peril and at the mercy of Israeli carnage.
The truce between Israel and Hamas entered its final 24 hours on Monday, with the militant group saying it was willing to extend the pause after it freed more hostages, including a four-year-old orphaned by its attack.
Israel faces enormous pressure from the families of hostages, as well as allies, to extend the truce to secure more releases.
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he had spoken to Biden.
That’s my goal, that’s our goal, to keep this pause going beyond tomorrow so that we can continue to see more hostages come out and surge more humanitarian relief into those in need in Gaza.President Joe Biden
He said he would like the fighting to be paused for “as long as prisoners keep coming out”.
Netanyahu said that he would welcome extending the temporary truce if it meant that on every additional day 10 captives would be freed.
Despite this, Netanyahu said he also told the U.S President that, at the end of the truce, “we will return with full force to achieve our goals” of eliminating Hamas and securing the remaining hostages’ release.
Netanyahu’s statement asserts the fact that Israel will surely continue with its bombardment of the enclave. No matter the pressure he faces or how long the truce may be extended to, one thing is certain; Israel will return to war.
Yoav Gallant, the Defence Minister has said that the military will resume fighting against Hamas “with intensity” for at least two more months once the “short” temporary pause ends.
If the truce is being extended for a few days and then attacks resume, everything goes back to square one.
The resumption of hostilities after such a temporary respite leaves lasting scars , amplifying the already profound impacts of war.
It is akin to reopening wounds that had just begun to heal. The psychological toll on civilians who had hoped for a sustained peace is immense.
The four-day truce was too short for Gazans to even attempt rebuilding, it only afforded them time to stock up, see what has become of their homes and search through rubble for some items.
The international community, especially U.S, Qatar and Egypt which played a role in brokering the truce, is confronted with the challenge of recalibrating diplomatic strategies.
The resumption of hostilities after a truce can escalate the severity of the conflict. This renewed aggression not only prolongs the suffering of those caught in the crossfire but also complicates future attempts at negotiated settlements.
In June 2023, fighting intensified in Khartoum after a truce between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) expired and a new outburst of violence took hold in Sudan’s restive Darfur region with dozens reportedly killed.
Brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States, the ceasefire calmed the street battles slightly and allowed limited humanitarian access.
In some instances, the return to war after a truce exacerbates existing regional tensions. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus region, punctuated by intermittent ceasefires, exemplifies this phenomenon.
The resumption of hostilities not only deepened historical grievances but also complicated diplomatic efforts, revealing the fragility of temporary peace arrangements.