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Toward Gaza's Peace...Reflections and Projections

The United Nations(UN) late last night called for an "immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire"  in Gaza. And last night in Gaza, despite one or two events that broke the silence of the night, it was the quietest night Palestinians have witnessed in 2o days. Should both Hamas and Israel adhere to this current truce as Muslims start the festival of Eid al-Fitr, the truce could be broaden into a wider peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians.

The last 20-days have been violent for the people of Gaza and particularly so for children and civilians. Of the 1,031 killed in Gaza, more than 70 percent have been civilians with scores of children included. Whole families have been killed. Orphans have been created, parents have been rendered childless;  hospitals, schools and mosques have been attacked, destroyed and damaged. Close to 6,000 Palestinians have been wounded and will carry the scars of this 2014 conflict for a long time. Israel has seen 43 soldiers killed- all of them since the ground incursion into Gaza on July 17 and none reported between July 8-16. Three civilians have died because of Hamas rockets into Israel.

Should this current cease-fire hold and grow into a workable peace between Israel and Palestine, looking forward to tomorrow and the day after, lessons learned from Gaza in 2014, will in the future demand that nations re-consider the conducting of warfare in urban centers. A projection out of Gaza 2014 must be a review of how wars are conducted in densely populated urban centers. Full considerations to review would include the disproportionate number of civilian deaths suffered under normal means of warfare in urban centers. Military reforms to higher precision technological arms and the retraining of armies to adapt to modern urban warfare are all changes coming out of this Gaza 2014 conflict. Whatever lessons are taken from the conflict, of paramount importance is that warfare cannot be conducted in urban areas today as it has been done in the past.