Bombardments end as Israel-Hamas cease-fire enters into force
Jerusalem/Gaza, May 21 (EFE).- A cease-fire between Israel and Hamas came into force on Friday at 2 am (11.00 GMT Thursday) after 11 days of bombardment that killed 232 Palestinians in Gaza and another 12 people in Israel.
After 2 am, the Israeli Defense Forces did not report any new air raid sirens in its communities surrounding the Gaza Strip (the last at 1.51 am local time), nor were there any Israeli bombings of Gaza.
Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem celebrated in the streets the ceasefire that they viewed as a victory against Israel.
Israel has also proclaimed success by considering that its “Operation Guardians of the Walls” recorded “great accomplishments” against Gaza militant targets.
Negotiated by Egypt, the truce proposal was agreed to on Thursday by the two parties as “mutual and simultaneous,” although the terms are not yet known.
The Israeli Security Cabinet approved Thursday the “mutual and unconditional” cessation of hostilities and Hamas announced shortly after that it had “guarantees” to carry it out.
A spokesman for the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, confirmed in a short speech broadcast on television that Hamas had stopped firing rockets at Israel.
UN Secretary General António Guterres welcomed the cease-fire, but added that “Israeli and Palestinian leaders have a responsibility beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialog to address the root causes of the conflict.”
The clashes have seen the worst violence since the 2014 war, sparking in occupied East Jerusalem and spreading to the West Bank and mixed cities in Israel.
Beyond the military escalation that ended Friday, the spread of violence throughout the rest of the region during these 11 days and the civil confrontations between Palestinians and Israelis seem to have opened a new chapter in the region. EFE