Israel and Hamas have finally agreed to a ceasefire, after almost two weeks of violence that claimed hundreds of lives and reduced many structures to rubbles. The ceasefire came into effect from 2 am on May 21, 2021.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet voted on May 20, 2021 in favor of halting their military activity in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli security cabinet unanimously adopted Egypt’s initiative for a bilateral ceasefire. The Palestinian militant group Hamas also agreed to a “mutual and simultaneous” cease-fire.
The Palestinians across the Gaza Strip were seen celebrating in the streets after the ceasefire decision came into effect on May 21st. The ceasefire came after mounting international pressure calling for an end to the violence between both sides.
VIDEO: People take to the streets of Gaza City to celebrate as a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant groups comes into force early Friday after 11 days of deadly fighting pic.twitter.com/thtAi3Awji
— AFP News Agency (@AFP)
May 21, 2021
Also read: UN Chief calls for immediate ceasefire
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki welcomed the unilateral ceasefire by Israel but he said it is not enough because Jerusalem remains the key issue.
Riyad al-Maliki added saying that the ceasefire is good because more than 2 million Palestinian people will be able to go to sleep knowing that they will have a brighter tomorrow but it is not enough, as the core issue that started all these episodes is Jerusalem. He said, ” we cannot forget Jerusalem.”
US President JoeBiden hailed the ceasefire agreement reached between Israel and Hamas. He added that the US would help Gaza with humanitarian relief aid and also replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
The ceasefire came hours after the White House spokesperson Jen Psaki informed the media on May 20th that the US believes that Israel has achieved significant objectives in Gaza that they had laid out to achieve to protect its own people and respond to thousands of rocket attacks from Hamas. He added saying that, this is why the US believes Israel is in a position to start winding down its military operation.
11-day war casualties
According to Gaza Health Ministry, at least 230 Palestinians have been killed in the recent conflict including 65 children and 39 women, while around 12 people have been killed in Israel, as per Israeli authorities. The casualties in Israel include an Indian National, Soumya Santosh, a 32-year-old caregiver.
Read more Israeli-Palestinian clashes here: Everything you must know!
The latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas ended inconclusively like the three previous wars. The conflict had begun on May 10, 2021 when Hamas fired long-range rockets toward Jerusalem after days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
In response to the rocket attack, Israel launched hundreds of airstrikes into the Gaza strip, reportedly targeting Hamas’ military infrastructure.