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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/21/21

Israel accepts Egypt brokered cease-fire with Hamas

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Israel on Thursday announced a cease-fire to end the 11-day military offensive in the Gaza Strip that left hundreds dead and caused widespread destruction.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Israel accepted the Egyptian proposal after a late-night meeting of his security cabinet. Palestinian resistance group Hamas quickly followed suit and said it would honor the deal.

The Israeli cabinet said it had voted unanimously in favor of a "mutual and unconditional" Gaza truce.

Hamas official told Reuters that the cease-fire would be "mutual and simultaneous" and would begin at 2 a.m. local time on Friday.

The development came after pressure mounted to end the bloodshed and amid mediation bids by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations.

"Israel failed to achieve any goals of its aggression, fled from battle with Palestinian resistance," Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri was cited as saying by Anadolu Agency (AA).

At least 230 Palestinians have been killed, including 65 children and 39 women, and 1,710 others injured in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since May 10, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The total casualties in Israel as of Thursday were 12 deaths, including two children, and 796 injuries.

Ali Barakeh, a member of Hamas, told The Associated Press (AP) that Israel's declaration represents a defeat for Netanyahu and "a victory to the Palestinian people."

The attacks in Gaza were preceded by days of tension and Israeli aggression in occupied East Jerusalem, where hundreds of Palestinians were assaulted by Israeli forces at Al-Aqsa Mosque, a flashpoint site sacred to Muslims, and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Since then, Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes that it says have targeted Hamas' infrastructure. Hamas and other groups embedded in residential areas have fired over 4,000 rockets at Israeli cities.

Gaza's housing ministry said on Thursday that 16,800 housing units had been damaged. Of those, 1,800 had become unfit for living and 1,000 were destroyed completely.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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