AJCongress welcomes truce, calls for Gaza demilitarization

The American Jewish Congress welcomes the announcement of an open-ended truce between Israel and the Gaza Strip and calls for the demilitarization of the coastal enclave.

The organization’s president, Jack Rosen, says in a statement that “the incessant violence waged against Israel over the past 50 days has thankfully come to a halt, but what comes next is critical for the lifespan of this agreement… If this ceasefire is to succeed, Hamas must decide once and for all that it is more important to improve the lives of the residents of Gaza than to bolster its rocket caches.”

Noting that an Israeli was killed as a barrage of mortars was fired from Gaza just before the truce took effect, a “troubling signal of Hamas’s intentions moving forward,” Rosen says, “A demilitarized Gaza, free from rockets and tunnels, with a boosted Palestinian Authority security presence led by President Mahmoud Abbas, may be the type of shift that could set the stage for renewed peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. But first, the eyes of the world must turn toward Hamas and ensure that the end to the current violence is not merely a ‘timeout’ to rebuild a regime of terror that has cost so many lives on both sides.”

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