Israel-Hamas truce takes hold after 11 days of fighting
An Egyptian-mediated truce between Israel and Hamas took hold on Friday after the worst violence in years, with U.S. President Joe Biden pledging to salvage the devastated Gaza Strip and the United Nations urging renewed Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.
New Delhi: An Egyptian-mediated truce between Israel and Hamas took hold on Friday after the worst violence in years, with U.S. President Joe Biden pledging to salvage the devastated Gaza Strip and the United Nations urging renewed Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.
Israeli aerial bombardment of the densely populated enclave killed 232 Palestinians, damaged thousands of homes and disabled critical infrastructure. Gaza rocket attacks killed 12 people in Israel and wounded hundreds. Palestinians who had spent 11 days huddled in fear of Israeli shelling poured into Gaza’s streets, embracing one another in celebration in front of bombed out buildings and along streets covered in wreckage.
Mosque loud-speakers feted “the victory of the resistance achieved over the Occupation (Israel).” Cars driving around East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah at dawn flew Palestinian flags and honked horns, echoing the scenes in Gaza.
In the countdown to the 2 a.m. (2300 GMT Thursday) cease-fire, Palestinian rocket salvoes continued and Israel carried out at least one air strike.
Each side said it stood ready to retaliate for any truce violations by the other. Egypt said it would send two delegations to monitor the ceasefire.
The violence erupted on May 10, triggered by Palestinians’ anger at what they saw as Israeli curbs on their rights in Jerusalem, including during police confrontations with protesters at Al-Aqsa mosque during the Ramadan fasting month. The fighting meant many Palestinians in Gaza could not mark the Eid al-Fitr festival at Ramadan's conclusion. On Friday, postponed Eid meals were held throughout Gaza.
In Israel, radio stations that had carried around-the-clock news and commentary switched back to pop music and folk songs.(Reuters)