Following mounting global pressure, an Egypt brokered truce came into force between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas in the early hours of Friday, bringing to an end the 11 days of deadly violence and destruction.
“The Security Cabinet accepted the recommendation of all the security officials to accept the Egyptian initiative for a mutual ceasefire without pre-conditions, to take effect at a time to be determined,” the statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office reads.
According to international media reports, following the truce, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in Gaza to celebrate the ceasefire agreement.
Hailing the ceasefire, Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres said, “I welcome the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel, after days of deadly hostilities. All sides must observe this ceasefire. Israeli and Palestinian leaders have a responsibility beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialogue to address the root cause of the conflict.”
Hours before the cease-fire agreement was reached, India’s Permanent Ambassador to United Nations, T S Tirumurti, condemned the indiscriminate rocket firings from Gaza into Israel and mourned the loss of the lives of innocent civilians in the current cycle of violence. He further said, “The retaliatory strikes into Gaza have also resulted in deaths and destruction.”
Fighting erupted between both parties earlier this month after a conflict flared up between the Israeli armed force and Palestinians near Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem during the holy month of Ramadan. The sudden raid by the Israeli forces ended up injuring more than 300 Palestinians. In retaliation to the violence, ‘Hamas’, the Islamist militant group that runs Gaza fired rockets towards Israel, which responded with an airstrike.
According to the Gaza health officials, around 1,900 wounded and 232 Palestinians lost their lives in the deadly violence. Authorities in Israel have put the death toll at 12.
US President Joe Biden pledged to provide rapid humanitarian assistance to Gaza
Lauding the decision US President Joe Biden said, “I believe that Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live in safety and security and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy.”
In a televised address, President Biden further said, United States is committed to working with United Nations and other international stakeholders to provide rapid humanitarian assistance to Gaza. Earlier Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi announced the allocation of $500 million for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip.
President Biden also extended his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups. He further expressed his gratitude to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and the senior Egyptian officials who played a critical role in this diplomacy.
“The United States fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks from Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist groups that have taken the lives of innocent civilians in Israel.”
Also, hours later the truce came into the effect, Israel Defence Forces took to Twitter and said, “More rockets are being fired at southern Israel from Gaza. An important reminder: 4,340+ rockets have been fired at Israel since last Monday by terrorists in Gaza.”