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Israel approves Gaza ceasefire after nearly two weeks of violence

by May 22, 2021Social Events0 comments

Israeli media say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet has approved a unilateral cease-fire to halt an 11-day military operation in the Gaza Strip.

The decision came after heavy US pressure to halt the offensive.

Israel and Hamas will enter a “mutual and simultaneous” Gaza truce at 2 am on Friday (2300 GMT Thursday), a Hamas official told Reuters.

An Egyptian official said Israel has informed his government, which is mediating a truce, that it intends to end its military operations in Gaza. Speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing behind-the-scenes diplomacy, he said an announcement was expected following the Security Cabinet meeting.

The official spoke shortly after Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi talked by phone with President Joe Biden. The two leaders discussed ways to stop violence in the Palestinian Territories, al-Sissi’s office said.

In Washington, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said reports of a move toward a ceasefire were “clearly encouraging.” She said the US was trying “to do everything we can to bring an end to the conflict.”

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