Ceasefire between Israel, Hamas comes into force

JERUSALEM: A highly anticipated ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas militants who run the Palestinian Gaza Strip officially came into force early on Friday (May 21) at 2am (7am, Malaysia time).

Only celebratory gunfire was heard on Gaza streets, AFP journalists said, while no Hamas rockets were fired on Israel in the minutes after the truce began, which seeks to end 11 days of deadly clashes.

The truce brokered by Egypt, which also included Gaza’s second-most powerful armed group, Islamic Jihad, was announced on Thursday following mounting international pressure to stem the bloodshed.

US President Joe Biden welcomed the deal.

“I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress and I’m committed to working toward it,” Biden said at the White House, hailing Egypt’s role in brokering the agreement.

A statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the security Cabinet had “unanimously accepted the recommendation of all of the security officials … to accept the Egyptian initiative for a mutual ceasefire without pre-conditions”.

Source Channel News Asia

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