Israel and Hamas to observe Gaza truce from 2 am on Friday


Israeli security cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas in Gaza


Israeli security cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas in Gaza

AP, AB news, Gulfnews

 

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Thursday announced a cease-fire to halt an 11-day military operation against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

A statement said his Security Cabinet unilaterally approved the Egyptian-mediated proposal. The two sides were still negotiating exactly when it would take effect. Multiple reports said the truce was to go into effect at 2 a.m., just over three hours after the cabinet’s decision.

Israel and Hamas would enter a “mutual and simultaneous” Gaza truce at 2am on Friday, a Hamas official told reporters.

Israeli media reported on Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet had approved the truce, on the basis of what one official was quoted as calling “quiet in exchange for quiet”.

US Vice President Harris, in call with Jordan’s King Abdullah, reiterated US commitment to two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict and importance of upholding status quo at the Haram Al-Sharif /Temple mount.

Since fighting broke out on May 10, Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes that it says have targeted Hamas’ infrastructure, including a vast tunnel network. Hamas and other militant groups embedded in residential areas have fired over 4,000 rockets at Israeli cities, with hundreds falling short and most of the rest intercepted.

Since fighting began on May 10, health officials in Gaza say 256 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women, have been killed and more than 1,700 wounded in air and artillery bombardments.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday issued an urgent appeal for $7 million needed over six months in response to a health crisis in Gaza and the West Bank amid a conflict with Israel.

The funds were required to “enable a comprehensive emergency response in the next six months,” the WHO said in a statement, following the escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians since May 10.

The WHO officials also called for a humanitarian pause in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza to allow access for aid as the health system in the Palestinian enclave faces critical shortages.

“The political leaders emphasized that the reality on the ground will be that which determines the future of the campaign,” the statement said.

Israeli media reported that the truce was approved based on what one official was quoted as calling “quiet in exchange for quiet.”

The decision came after heavy US pressure to halt the offensive. Hamas also confirmed the cease-fire.

Since fighting broke out on May 10, Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes that it says have targeted Hamas’ infrastructure, including a vast tunnel network. Hamas and other militant groups embedded in residential areas have fired over 4,000 rockets at Israeli cities, with hundreds falling short and most of the rest intercepted.

According to Gaza health officials, at least 230 Palestinians have been killed, while 12 people in Israel have died.

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