The declaration of a 72-hour cease-fire in the 2014 Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the sustaining of such a truce should provide a much needed and deserving degree of ease and solace to the innocents of Gaza. The children of Gaza now have hope of seeing a lasting possible peace emerge out of talks between the warring parties and their facilitators in Cairo, Egypt, over the next three days.
But with this temporary agreed upon peace, the tragic deaths of so many children and civilians in the 2014 conflict must never be overlooked. Palestinian deaths number some 1,900 with the majority being civilians and children, close to 10,000 Palestinians have been injured. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers have died - all since Israel began the ground invasion into Gaza on July 18. Three civilians have died from Hamas rockets within Israel. On August 2, when the Palestinian death toll stood at 1,525 - of that number - 1,033 were civilians, including 329 children and 187 women. As it often has been, post-conflict reflections and investigations are merited out of this 2014 Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Just investigations of war crime questions must be conducted and those guilty must be held accountable. Too many children have died. Justice must be served.
Any notions or actions rendering any hint of a by-pass or a free pass from justice will serve to re-flame the glowing embers of radicalism in Gaza, the West Bank and entire Middle East. In the interest of long term security and stability for Gaza and for Israel, justice must be served. The deaths of so many innocents in Gaza cannot have been in vain.
Reconstruction of Gaza could cost upward of $6 billion with early estimates recognizing that some 100,000 homes will have be constructed along with hospitals, schools, mosques, roads and power plants. Significant donors should step forward early including the Jewish state, which could use this opportunity to demonstrate its genuineness as a "good neighbor" in the Middle East.