Israel-Hamas truce more a pause than prelude to peace

Hostilities likely to resume after next week's Eurovision talent show ends

A man painting a mural on a structure near the Eurovision Village, a space for fans of the song contest to be held in Tel Aviv next week. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ceasefire deal with Hamas is partly seen as ensuring the Eurovision
A man painting a mural on a structure near the Eurovision Village, a space for fans of the song contest to be held in Tel Aviv next week. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ceasefire deal with Hamas is partly seen as ensuring the Eurovision contest will give its expected 100 million television viewers worldwide a favourable impression of the country as an attractive tourist destination.PHOTO: REUTERS

At 2.30am on Monday, silence fell. Unexpectedly, it reigned, in contrast to the preceding 48 hours when air-raid sirens had howled in all cities across southern Israel, followed by the dull explosions of Palestinian missiles. The air over the Gaza Strip had oscillated with the hum of countless Israeli reconnaissance drones, the hiss of fighter jets and the roar of bombs.

All this was joined on Sunday by the deep bass of hundreds of tanks ordered by Israel's government to take up positions around Gaza.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2019, with the headline 'Israel-Hamas truce more a pause than prelude to peace'. Subscribe