Conflicts & War

Israel, Hamas accept Egyptian proposal for cease-fire

Jerusalem, May 20 (EFE).- Israel’s security Cabinet accepted a proposal from Egypt for a cease-fire with Hamas and other Palestinian militants in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Thursday.

The Cabinet voted unanimously “to accept the Egyptian initiative for a bilateral cease-fire without any conditions, which will take effect later,” according to a statement from the caretaker premier’s office.

Citing unnamed officials, Israeli media outlets reported that the cease-fire would begin at 2:00 am Friday (23:00 GMT Thursday), following 11 days of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli bombardment blamed for 232 deaths in Gaza and 12 in Israel.

Hamas, the Islamist movement that governs Gaza, confirmed the announcement.

“The date for the cease-fire is at 2:00 am, and the resistance is ready for any development. We obtained guarantees from the mediators that the aggression on Gaza will stop,” Hamas official Osama Hamdan told Lebanese media.

The Israeli security Cabinet, which includes senior military commanders, hailed the “great accomplishments” of the offensive against Hamas and its allies, Netanyahu’s office said.

Netanyahu convened the meeting amid intensifying calls from the international community for an end to the violence.

Israel had repeatedly dismissed proposals for a cease-fire and Netanyahu said Wednesday that he was determined to continue with the military operation.

The United Nations secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, appealed again Thursday for an immediate cease-fire.

“Indiscriminate attacks, and attacks against civilians and civilian property, are violations of the laws of war,” he said in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

The Palestinian death toll includes 65 minors and 39 women, the Gaza Health Ministry said. Two of the Israeli fatalities were minors.

After days of emphasizing Israel’s right to defend itself, US President Joe Biden expressed his support for a cease-fire in a telephone call with Netanyahu on Wednesday. EFE

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