Ceasefire announced by Israel and Hamas after 11 days of fight.


Palestinians celebrate the ceasefire brokered by Egypt between Israel and Hamas in Gaza City. (Source of image: Alja Zeera). Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire to end an 11-day conflict which resulted in the deaths of 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis. The truce came a day after the US stepped up pressure on Israel to end its fight with Hamas. The US president, Joe Biden told Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister on May 19, that he “expected a significant de-escalation on the path to a ceasefire." On May 20, Israel’s security cabinet met and unanimously voted in favor of a “mutual and unconditional” Gaza ceasefire. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) armed group confirmed the ceasefire and said it would start at 2 am on May 21, (23:00 GMT Thursday). It was Egypt that proposed the ceasefire and mediated along with the US and Qatar. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Egyptian President, ordered 2 security delegations into Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories to work towards upholding the ceasefire. The conflict began on May 10, triggering the worst fight between Israel and the Palestinians since a 2014 war. A member of Hamas’s Arab and Islamic relations bureau, Ali Barakeh said that the declaration is “a victory to the Palestinian people” and a defeat for Netanyahu. Earlier on May 20, Israel had resumed its bombardment of the Gaza Strip, and Hamas and allied PIJ had resumed rocket attacks after an eight-hour pause. According to the Health officials in Gaza, 232 Palestinians (including 65 children and 39 women) were killed, leaving over 1,900 injured. Without providing evidence, Israel said that it has killed at least 160 combatants in Gaza. Whereas Hamas and PIJ said that around 20 of their fighters have been killed. The death toll in Israel is at 12, with hundreds of people wounded in rocket attacks that caused panic and sent people rushing into shelters.

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