Gaza City: The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic movement that controls the Gaza Strip, took effect early Friday after a deadly 11-day battle that violently attacked Palestinian enclaves and forced countless Israelis to avoid rocket attacks.
A reporter from AFP said that a few minutes after the truce began, celebrations were heard on the streets of Gaza, cars honked, and several shots fired in the air, but no warning was heard that Hamas rockets were shot into Israel.
After the international community exerted greater pressure to stop the bloodshed that broke out on May 10, Egypt reached a ceasefire agreement, including the Islamic Jihad, the second most powerful armed group in Gaza.
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”.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad also confirmed the ceasefire in statements.
The Israeli statement said its aerial campaign had made “unprecedented” achievements in Gaza, a territory it has blockaded since 2007, the year of Hamas s takeover.
“The political leadership emphasises that it is the reality on the ground that will determine the future of the operation,” it added.
US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken said on Thursday that he would be “ready to travel to Israel, the Middle East, if the purpose of doing so is to get rid of violence and help improve the lives of Israelis and Palestinians.”