Ceasefire between Israel and Hamas starts in Gaza

Source : 112 Ukraine

Israeli Security Cabinet voted for ceasefire in Gaza
10:29, 21 May 2021

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The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza appeared to be holding as of early Friday morning, after the two sides fought for 11 days. The ceasefire began at 2:00 a.m. local time on Friday. This is reported by DW.

The cease-fire was brokered by Egypt. Two Egyptian delegations will travel to Tel Aviv and the Palestinian territories to observe implementation of the truce, according to AFP news agency.

In addition to Israel and Hamas, the cease-fire also included Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the second-most-powerful armed group in Gaza.

Palestinians in Gaza broke out in celebration following the truce, waving flags and shooting guns into the air. Similar celebrations occurred in the West Bank. 

Both sides in the fighting hailed the cease-fire as a win.

A statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the offensive in Gaza yielded "significant achievements [...] some of which are unprecedented."

A Hamas official told a rally in Gaza that the cease-fire was a "victory for the Palestinian people." Khalil al-Hayya added that Israel had failed to destroy the Islamist group's military infrastructure.

Tensions began earlier this month when several Palestinian families living in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah were threatened with eviction from their homes. Jewish settlers claim the properties were owned by Jews prior to 1948.

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Israel postponed the court hearing on the case in order to defuse tensions.

The situation escalated further when Israeli security forces dispersed worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Muslims typically congregate for group prayer at the mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.

Last week, Hamas threatened to fire rockets at Israel, unless Israeli forces left the Temple Mount. Israel refused to have its troops vacate the premises.

Hamas then launched rockets towards Jerusalem. In response, the Israeli military launched an offensive against Hamas in Gaza.

The Israeli military called the operation against Hamas "Guardian of the Walls," a reference to Jerusalem. Hamas called its attacks against Israel "Sword of Jerusalem."

The fighting was the worst between the two sides since a 50-day war in 2014.

At least 232 Palestinians died, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Twelve people were killed in Israel.

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