Palestine, Israel bombings in Gaza

Israel and Hamas accept ceasefire agreement in Gaza

Israel and Hamas announced that they accepted a mutual and unconditional ceasefire, after attacks left 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead.

Israel announced late on Thursday that it accepted the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza, following a terrible 11-day military offensive that has left hundreds of civilians dead and caused great destruction in the Strip; shortly thereafter, the Islamist group Hamas confirmed that it also accepted the terms of the agreement.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reported that the Israeli government had accepted Egypt’s proposed plan following an emergency meeting of its security cabinet in the late evening, after which the Israeli cabinet announced that it would vote unanimously in favor of a “mutual and unconditional” truce in Gaza.

Later, Hamas announced to the media that it also accepted the terms of the agreement and that it would respect the ceasefire, which would be “mutual and simultaneous” and would begin at 2:00 am on Friday, local time (1:00 CET).

“Israel has not achieved any of the objectives of its aggression, it has fled the battle with the Palestinian resistance,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. Ali Barakeh, another Hamas representative, said that Israel’s declaration accepting a truce represents a defeat for Netanyahu and “a victory for the Palestinian people.”

Israeli offensive kills 230 Palestinians in Gaza

Israel’s decision to accept the proposal for a cessation of hostilities in the region, despite the fact that this week the Israeli government had rejected other peace proposals and did not even rule out a ground operation in Gaza, could have occurred under pressure of the United States, whose president Joe Biden had urged Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to reduce tension in the area.

It is estimated that at least 230 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women, have been killed in the Israeli offensive on Gaza, and another 1,710 have been injured. On the Israeli side, the victims amount to 12 dead – two of them children – and 796 injured as a result of the launch of rockets from the Strip.

The agreement for a ceasefire in Gaza accepted by Israel and Hamas comes after an offensive launched by the Israeli army on May 10, which was preceded by several days of tension over the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in the occupied sector of East Jerusalem, and by clashes with Israeli security forces around the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan, which resulted in hundreds of Palestinians wounded.