CIUDAD DE GAZA, Franja de Gaza (AP) — El alto el fuego que concertaron Israel y el grupo Hamas que gobierna Gaza entró en vigencia el miércoles en la noche para poner fin a la lucha más intensa que han librado en años, al tiempo que podría marcar el inicio de una nueva era en las relaciones entre los dos enemigos acérrimos.

El acuerdo para la cesación de las hostilidades fue mediado por Egipto y supone logros cruciales para todas las partes implicadas.

Abre la perspectiva de que los palestinos pongan fin a años de ataques con cohetes contra el sur de Israel y de que Israel flexibilice los cierres fronterizos que han asfixiado la economía de Gaza, al tiempo que ratifica el ascenso del nuevo gobierno islamista de Egipto como un actor importante en una región inmersa en cambios.

Sin embargo, las imprecisiones en el contenido del acuerdo y la profunda hostilidad entre los bandos en conflicto vuelven incierto que se trate de un fin definitivo al derramamiento de sangre.

La noticia de la tregua, anunciada en El Cairo y concertada tras una intensa diplomacia de Estados Unidos, la ONU, Europa y la región, desató una gran celebración en Gaza, donde miles de personas salieron a las calles, hicieron disparos al aire, sonaron las bocinas de sus vehículos y hondearon las banderas palestinas, así como las de Hamas y Egipto.

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  • PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-GAZA-CONFLICT

    Birzeit University students takes cover behind the university's sign during clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Atara checkpoint close to the university as they protest against Israel's military action on the Gaza Strip, on November 19, 2012. Israeli air strikes across the Gaza Strip killed 13 people, raising the Palestinian death toll to 90 as Israel's relentless air campaign entered its sixth day. AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Israeli Troops Continue To Gather On Border As UN Call For Truce

    ISRAEL/GAZA BORDER - ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 19: Israeli artillery shells attack a target in the Gaza Strip on November 19, 2012 on Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. According to reports November 19, 2012, at least 90 Palestinians have been killed and more than 700 wounded during the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Israeli Troops Continue To Gather On Border As UN Call For Truce

    ISRAEL/GAZA BORDER - ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 19: Israeli artillery shells attack a target in the Gaza Strip on November 19, 2012 on Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. According to reports November 19, 2012, at least 90 Palestinians have been killed and more than 700 wounded during the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Palestinians hurry away from a damaged building after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. Israel widened the range of targets in its Gaza offensive Sunday, striking more than a dozen homes of suspected Hamas militants and two media offices, according to security officials and witnesses. The attacks also damaged adjacent houses, killing seven civilians, including five children, health officials said. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • Israeli Troops Continue To Gather On Border As Ceasefire Talks Are Sought

    ISRAEL/GAZA BORDER - ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 20: (ISRAEL OUT) Israeli soldiers prepare weapons and vehicles in a deployment area as the conflict between Palestine and Gaza enters its seventh day on November 20, 2012 on Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. Hamas militants and Israel are continuing talks aimed at a ceasefire as the death toll in Gaza reaches over 100 with three Israelis also having been killed by rockets fired by Palestinian militants. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

  • The sun rises as an Israeli soldier washes his teeth atop a tank that he slept on, at a staging area near the Israel Gaza Strip Border, southern Israel, early Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. On Tuesday, grieving Gazans were burying militants and civilians killed in ongoing Israeli airstrikes, and barrages of rockets from Gaza sent terrified Israelis scurrying to take cover. Efforts to end a week-old convulsion of Israeli-Palestinian violence drew in the world's top diplomats Tuesday, with U.S. President Barack Obama dispatching his secretary of state to the region on an emergency mission and the U.N. chief appealing from Cairo for an immediate cease-fire. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • Palestinian firefighters try to extinguish a fire on the National Islamic Bank, destroyed overnight in an Israeli strike, in Gaza City Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. Early Tuesday, Israeli aircraft targeted another Hamas symbol of power, battering the headquarters of the bank senior Hamas officials set up to sidestep international sanctions on the militant group's rule. (AP Photo/Ashraf Amra)

  • Smoke and fire are seen from an explosion by a high rise housing media organizations in Gaza City, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. It's the Israel's military second strike on the building in two days. The Hamas TV station, Al Aqsa, is located on the top floor. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Smoke and fire are seen from an explosion by a high rise housing media organizations in Gaza City, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. It's the Israel's military second strike on the building in two days. The Hamas TV station, Al Aqsa, is located on the top floor. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Israeli soldiers lie on the ground as an Iron Dome missile is launched near the city of Ashdod, Israel, Monday Nov 19. 2012. Israeli aircraft struck crowded areas in the Gaza Strip and killed a senior militant with a missile strike on a media center Monday, driving up the Palestinian death toll to 96, as Israel broadened its targets in the 6-day-old offensive meant to quell Hamas rocket fire on Israel. (AP Photo/Moti Milrod) ISRAEL OUT

  • The dead body of a Palestinian woman from the Abdel Aal family is pulled out from the rubble after the family house collapsed during an Israeli forces strike in the Tufah neighbourhood, Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to include the media operations of the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, sending its aircraft to attack two buildings used by both Hamas and foreign media outlets. (AP Photo/Majed Hamdan)

  • The dead body of a Palestinian woman from the Abdel Aal family is pulled out from the rubble after the family house collapsed during an Israeli forces strike in the Tufah neighborhood, Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to include the media operations of the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, sending its aircraft to attack two buildings used by both Hamas and foreign media outlets. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Osama Abdel Aal is rescued after his family house collapsed during an Israeli forces strike in the Tufah neighborhood, Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to include the media operations of the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, sending its aircraft to attack two buildings used by both Hamas and foreign media outlets. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • A member of the Abdel Aal family is rescued after his family house collapsed during an Israeli forces strike in the Tufah neighborhood, Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to include the media operations of the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, sending its aircraft to attack two buildings used by both Hamas and foreign media outlets. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • A Palestinian woman walks past a building hit by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to include the media operations of the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, sending its aircraft to attack two buildings used by both Hamas and foreign media outlets. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • Explosion and smoke rise following an Israeli strike in Gaza City, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with more than 180 airstrikes early Saturday, the military said. The new attacks followed an unprecedented rocket strike aimed at the contested holy city of Jerusalem that raised the stakes in Israel's violent confrontation with Palestinian militants. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Smoke rises after an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to include the media operations of the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, sending its aircraft to attack two buildings used by both Hamas and foreign media outlets. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Smoke rises following an Israeli attack on smuggling tunnels on the border between Egypt and Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

  • PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-GAZA

    Palestinian firefighters and rescue personnel work at a blast site following an Israeli air raid in Gaza City on November 17, 2012. Israeli air strikes hit the cabinet headquarters of Gaza's Hamas government, the group said early on November 17, with eyewitnesses reporting extensive damage to the building. AFP PHOTO/MARCO LONGARI (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • People look at a wreckage of the car in which was killed Ahmed Jabari, head of the Hamas military wing in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • People look at a wreckage of the car in which was killed Ahmed Jabari, head of the Hamas military wing in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, a rocket is launched from the Israeli anti-missile system known as "Iron Dome" in order to intercept a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip in Ashdod, Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, file)

  • Ahmed Jabari

    Palestinian security forces wheel into a hospital the body of Ahmed Jabari, head of the Hamas military wing, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Ahmed Jabari

    Palestinian security forces wheel into a hospital the body of Ahmed Jabari, head of the Hamas military wing, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Israelis soldiers run to a rocket shelter as a siren sounds signaling an attack coming from the nearby Gaza Strip in Neva settlement, near the Israel-Egypt border, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

  • Palestinian men react at hospital after the body of Ahmed Jabari, head of the Hamas military wing, was brought, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Israeli soldiers and civilians run to a rocket shelter as a siren sounds signaling an attack coming from the nearby Gaza Strip in Neva settlement, near the Israel-Egypt border, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

  • Columns of smoke rise following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Palestinian witnesses say Israeli airstrikes have hit a series of targets across Gaza City, shortly after the assassination of the top Hamas commander. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • Columns of smoke rise following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • Columns of smoke rise following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • Columns of smoke rise following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

En Israel hubo pequeñas movilizaciones en las comunidades alcanzadas por los cohetes. Los manifestantes demandaron al mando militar que lance una operación más enérgica contra Hamas y algunos sostenían pancartas en las que exigían seguridad y censuraban lo que describían como "los acuerdos con terroristas".

Los máximos representantes de ambos bandos utilizaron un discurso severo antes de emprender negociaciones indirectas, a través de mediadores egipcios, sobre un futuro acuerdo fronterizo.

"Estoy consciente que hay ciudadanos que esperaban una operación militar más amplia y podría ser lo que se necesite. Pero en este momento, lo correcto para el estado de Israel es que aproveche esta oportunidad de lograr un alto el fuego continuo", dijo el primer ministro israelí Benjamin Netanyahu.

En conferencia de prensa en El Cairo, el máximo líder de Hamas en el exilio, Khaled Mashaal, proclamó la victoria y afirmó que los israelíes "fracasaron en su aventura" y que Israel está "inevitablemente destinado a la derrota".

La secretaria norteamericana de Estado, Hillary Rodham Clinton, dijo que "este es un momento crítico para la región".

"El nuevo gobierno de Egipto ha asumido la responsabilidad y el liderazgo que por mucho tiempo ha convertido a este país en pilar para la paz y la estabilidad regionales", afirmó Clinton.

LEE LOS COMENTARIOS A ESTA NOTA Y AGREGA EL TUYO


Israel lanzó el 14 de noviembre su ofensiva militar contra Gaza para poner fin a meses de intermitentes andanadas de cohetes provenientes de Gaza. En sus primeras acciones, Israel mató al jefe militar de Hamas, después atacó durante ocho días con aviación y artillería más de 1.500 objetivos.

Los extremistas palestinos, dirigidos por Hamas, lanzaron contra Israel una lluvia de más de 1.500 cohetes, incluidos algunos de largo alcance que llegaron hasta Jerusalén y Tel Aviv.

En el conflicto perdieron la vida 161 palestinos, entre éstos 71 civiles, y cientos de miles de personas se vieron obligadas a refugiarse dentro de sus casas en ambos lados de la frontera. Cinco israelíes murieron. El conflicto fue el más grave desde la invasión que lanzó Israel hace cuatro años contra Gaza y en la que murieron cientos de personas.

Según el acuerdo, Egipto tendrá un papel crucial en el mantenimiento de la paz. Estados Unidos también ha comprometido su participación.

"En los próximos días, Estados Unidos trabajará con sus socios en la región para consolidar este avance, mejorar las condiciones del pueblo de Gaza y proveer seguridad al pueblo de Israel", dijo Clinton en conferencia de prensa conjunta en El Cairo con su homólogo egipcio Mohammed Kamel Amr.

Al aceptar la tregua, Israel y los gobernantes de Hamas en Gaza dieron marcha atrás cuando parecían encaminarse hacia una guerra a gran escala. Ambos bandos tienen motivos de sobra para aceptar el acuerdo que medió Egipto a pesar de las imprecisiones en el contenido del documento.

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Federman informó desde Jerusalén. Mohammed Daraghmeh, en El Cairo, y Ariel David, en Tel Aviv, contribuyeron a este despacho.

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