Israel and Hamas have reached an agreement on a ceasefire, ending eight days of hostilities. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said, “The United States welcomes the agreement today for the cease-fire in Gaza”. As of this posting, there has been relative quiet along the border according to sources. After the announcement, Palestinians in Gaza took to the streets in celebration; Mosque loudspeakers blaring, “Allahu Akbar” God is Great. The announcement and following reaction in Israel was much more subdued. Fighting continued right up until the deadline. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a news conference in Jerusalem confirmed the cease-fire agreement and told the press he had spoken to President Obama and Secretary Clinton and they agreed to fight together, “weapons of terror”. Probably the most significant news to come from this skirmish was the fact Egypt played a crucial role in the cease-fire. Clinton thanked Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi for his mediation in helping to bring about the truce. For his part, Netanyahu paid tribute to Clinton and Morsi as well. There is a new dynamic in the Middle East even though there was some uncertainty with the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. The Middle East of the 60’s and early 70’s would have seen an all out war, which would have included Egypt. Now, Egypt is a mediator. The conclusion that must be drawn from this, is at last there are pragmatists in the region. Israel is not going anywhere, and war only brings about death and destruction, not progress. The people of Gaza suffered 140 deaths along with scores injured and damage to many buildings. Yet Hamas claimed victory. With that type of mentality, there is no hope for a lasting peace. Israel lost five citizen and suffered relatively minor damage. There was no celebration as Israelis understand this is only a temporary solution. Hamas will rebuild in Gaza, Iran will send more missiles and this useless cycle of violence will continue. The only answer for Hamas is to at last accept Israel’s right to exist and force her, under the eyes of the world, to the negotiating table. The irony of Gaza, is there is no issue of land for peace. When Israel withdrew from Gaza the internationally accepted borders were restored. The issues confronting peace along that border, should be rather simple to solve. Gazans would like freer movement and Israel would like security. However, with Hamas unwilling to recognize Israel’s existence, there is no basis for negotiations and these periodic battles and cease fires will continue indefinitely.