An Egyptian-mediated truce began on Friday between Israel and Hamas. After the worst fighting in years, U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to ease the ruined Gaza Strip with humanitarian relief.
Many Palestinians, who had spent 11 days gathered in fear of Israeli attacks, rushed into the streets of Gaza. Mosque loud-speakers credited “the victory of the resistance achieved over the Israeli Occupation.”
In the countdown to the 2 a.m. cease-fire, Palestinian rocket showers continued and atleast one air strike was executed by Israel.
Both sides said they are ready to requite for any truce violations by the other. Cairo said it would assign two delegations to supervise the ceasefire.
The violence erupted on May 10, triggered by the anger of Palestinians’, they condemned as Israel curbs on their rights in Jerusalem, including at the police clashes with protesters at Al-Aqsa mosque during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Due to the fighting, many Palestinians in Gaza were not able to witness the Eid al-Fitr festival at Ramadan’s end. On Friday, everywhere in Gaza, delayed Eid al-Fitr meals were held instead.
Gaza health officials confirmed 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, had been killed and more than 1,900 were wounded in aerial shellings. Israel said it had killed at least 160 fighters.
Authorities in Israel put the death toll to 12, with hundreds of people tended for injuries in rocket strikes that caused panic and made people plunge into shelters.
Islamist militant group, Hamas that rules Gaza, cast the combat as victorious resistance of a militarily and economically stronger enemy.
Amidst growing global fear, Biden had requested Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to look for de-escalation, while Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations urged for mediations.
On Thursday, Biden extended condolences to dispossessed Israelis and Palestinians in a television address and said Washington would work with the United Nations and other international stakeholders to accommodate rapid humanitarian aid for Gaza and its reconstruction.
U.S President said assistance would be collaborated with the Palestinian Authority, run by Hamas’ rival, President Mahmoud Abbas. Based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in a way that will not allow Hamas to simply restock its military weapons.
Hamas is considered as a terrorist group in the West and by Israel, which refuses to acknowledge it.
Analysts saw a key goal of Hamas’s rocket operation as being to diminish Abbas by emerging as the guardian of Palestinians in Jerusalem, whose eastern sector they seek for a future state.
Hamas named the rocket campaign “Sword of Jerusalem” making the link accurate.
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, appointed by Abbas, said “We welcome the success of the international efforts led by Egypt to stop the Israeli aggression against our people in Gaza Strip,”
Previously Hamas demanded that any halt to the Gaza fighting to be convoyed by withdrawal of Israeli in Jerusalem. An Israeli official said Reuters there was no such condition in the truce.
The State Department told that State Secretary Antony J. Blinken has scheduled to travel to the Middle East, where he would meet with Israeli, Palestinian, and regional leaders to consider the recovery efforts.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters that Israeli and Palestinian leaders had a responsibility apart from the restoration of calm to address the origin of the conflict.
He said Gaza is an essential part of the future State of Palestinian and efforts should be made to bring about real national harmony that will end the conflict