Gaza: In a significant development, a truce between Israel and Hamas began on Friday (May 21, 2021) at the hour set by Egyptian mediators, and U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to salve the devastated Gaza Strip with humanitarian aid after the worst fighting in years.
An official from the Palestinian militant Hamas group said that Israel’s declaration of a cease-fire represented “a victory to the Palestinian people” and a defeat for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Speaking to Associated Press, Ali Barakeh, a member of Hamas’ Arab and Islamic relations bureau, said, “militants will remain on alert until they hear from mediators who have been working for days between Hamas and Israel.”
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the Israeli security cabinet approved the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Thursday night (May 20, 2021), Xinhua reported.
According to a statement issued by the office, the decision came after a discussion that lasted a couple of hours and was “unanimously” approved by the ministers.
The top world leaders, including United Nations and US President Joe Biden, welcomed this much-awaited development.
“Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely, security and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy,” Joe Biden said after the announcement of Israel and Hamas’s unconditional ceasefire.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the ceasefire between Israel and Palestine and called on all parties to observe it.
“I welcome the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel after 11 days of deadly hostilities,” Guterres said on Thursday. “I call on all sides to observe the ceasefire.”
Additionally, Gaza health officials confirmed that over 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, had been killed, while more than 1,900 people have been wounded in airstrikes. On the other hand, Israel’s officials revealed that it had killed at least 160 combatants.
(With agency inputs)