Rockets are fired from Gaza at Israel on Thursday night

Israel-Gaza ceasefire comes into effect, ending 11 days of intensive fighting

IDF air strikes in Strip and rocket fire on southern Israel continued almost until deadline to end hostilities; Egypt, which brokered agreement, dispatches delegations to both sides; Al Arabiya: Cairo planning 'peace summit' on long-term calm

Itamar Eichner, News Agencies |
Updated: 05.21.21, 02:06
A ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip came into effect at 2am Friday, ending 11 days of intensive fighting.
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  • Israel's security cabinet earlier voted unanimously to approve the truce after a three-hour debate.
    In an official statement, the cabinet said the ceasefire was proposed by Egypt and would be "mutual and unconditional."
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    שיגור רקטות מעזה
    שיגור רקטות מעזה
    Rockets are fired from Gaza at Israel on Thursday night
    (Photo: AFP)
    A member of the Hamas terror group that controls Gaza told Reuters that it and Israel would enter the "mutual and simultaneous" truce at 2am on Friday. Egyptian state TV later confirmed the timing of the ceasefire.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Thursday night that the cabinet had unanimously approved the truce without preconditions on the recommendation of all defense officials, including IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen and National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat.
    The statement said that Israel's achievements in Operation Guardian of the Walls were "unprecedented."
    "The political leadership emphasized that the reality on the ground will be that which determines the future of the campaign," the statement said.
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    ירי ארטילרי של צה"ל על עזה
    ירי ארטילרי של צה"ל על עזה
    IDF troops fire artillery at the Gaza Strip on Thursday
    (Photo: AFP)
    Rocket fire on southern Israel continued on Thursday night despite the reports of an imminent ceasefire. The IDF also continued its attacks on targets in the Gaza Strip.
    The cabinet vote came hours after Qatari-based news outlet Al Jazeera reported that Israel had officially updated Egypt that it was ready for a cessation of hostilities.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened the security cabinet at 7pm Thursday to discuss the Gaza operation and ceasefire efforts.
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    Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, right, meets with Palestinian Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmad at the foreign ministry in Cairo
    Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, right, meets with Palestinian Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmad at the foreign ministry in Cairo
    Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, right, meeting with Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmad in Cairo on Thursday
    (Photo: AP)
    According to Saudi outlet Al Arabiya, Egypt presented Israel with the draft for a ceasefire on Thursday morning, but there was still some disagreement about the timeframe for it to take effect.
    The report also said that Egypt was planning to hold a "peace summit" between Israelis and Palestinians on long-term calm.
    The White House said Thursday that it had seen reports of a move towards a ceasefire, which is said appeared to be encouraging.
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    Israelis run for cover as rockets are fired at the southern city of Ashdod on Thursday
    Israelis run for cover as rockets are fired at the southern city of Ashdod on Thursday
    Israelis run for cover as rockets are fired at the southern city of Ashdod on Thursday
    (Photo: AP)
    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi spoke to U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday to discuss the de-escalation of violence, the Egyptian presidency said.
    Sisi and Biden agreed to continue talks and coordination between their countries in the coming period in order to contain the situation, the presidency said.
    Two Egyptian security delegations will be sent to monitor the ceasefire deal, diplomatic sources said Thursday night.
    The delegations were being sent to Tel Aviv and the Palestinian territories to "monitor [the ceasefire's] implementation and procedures to maintain stable conditions permanently," the sources said.
    Meanwhile, Israel and the terror groups in Gaza continued their cross-border attacks throughout Thursday with the IDF firing on targets in the Strip and the terror groups launching wave after wave of rockets at Israeli communities in the south.
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    עזה לאחר תקיפות צה"ל
    עזה לאחר תקיפות צה"ל
    The aftermath of an IDF strike in Gaza
    (Photo: AP)
    Health officials in the Hamas-run Strip said 232 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women, have been killed since the fighting began on May 10, and more than 1,900 have been wounded in airstrikes.
    Israel says it has killed at least 160 combatants in Gaza and put its own death toll at 12, with hundreds of people treated for injuries in rocket attacks that have caused panic and sent people rushing into shelters.
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    שיגור רקטות מעזה
    שיגור רקטות מעזה
    Rocket fire from Gaza at Israel on Thursday
    (Photo: AFP)
    Biden on Wednesday urged Netanyahu to seek "de-escalation" and a Hamas political official, Moussa Abu Marzouk, said he believed a ceasefire would be reached "within a day or two."
    Senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub, who is close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, also said that a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel could happen over the next 24 hours thanks to Arab mediation efforts led by Egypt.
    First published: 18:51, 05.20.21
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