Israel and Hamas have agreed on a ceasefire across the Gaza Strip border after 11 days of violence – the deadliest to happen in years – Reuters reports.
Israel’s security cabinet said in a statement that it had voted unanimously in favour of a “mutual and unconditional” truce to happen on Friday as proposed by Egyptian mediation.
The cabinet also added that the head of the National Security Council, Meir Ben-Shabbat, will begin talks with Egypt to agree on the final details of the ceasefire agreement. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi will also reportedly send a security delegation to Gaza and Israel to stabilize the ceasefire.
President Sisi wrote on Twitter that he exchanged phone calls with US President Joe Biden to descalate the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, adding that he appreciates Biden’s role for the success of the Egyptian ceasefire initiative.
فإنني أتوجه بالتحية والتقدير للرئيس الأمريكي “بايدن”لدوره في إنجاح المبادرة المصرية لوقف إطلاق النار وتحقيق التهدئة، متمنياً استمرار التعاون فيما بيننا لتحقيق المزيد من النجاحات المُشتركة والتي من شأنها إرساء السلام العادل والشامل في المنطقة. ٣/٣
— Abdelfattah Elsisi (@AlsisiOfficial) May 20, 2021
According to Walla, an Israeli media company, foreign reports note that Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan said that the ceasefire agreement guarantees that “the occupation will remove its hand from Sheikh Jarrah and al-Aqsa”.
However, a senior Israeli official denied the allegations, adding that “the ceasefire agreement is unconditional. There is no unequivocal agreement on Jerusalem or Sheikh Jarrah and the allegations are unfounded.”
Since the violence began on May 10, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reports that 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, have been killed and more than 1,900 wounded due to attacks by Israeli forces. These attacks also targeted international media offices, refugee camps, schools, hospitals, and humanitarian missions as sites for bombing.
Israeli authorities confirm that 12 Israelis were killed, and that hundreds of people are wounded and are being treated for injuries and panic attacks due to rocket attacks by Hamas.
The news comes after Egypt’s President Sisi announced that Egypt is allocating US$500 million to restore and rebuild the Gaza.
Egypt has also sent humanitarian aid and opened the Rafah border to receive injured Palestinians and treat them in Egyptian hospitals.