Israel and Hamas Just Agreed to a Cease-Fire

Health officials in Gaza say that 232 Palestinians, including many civilians, have been killed in 11 days of fighting.
May 20, 2021, 8:57pm
​Man waves Palestinian flag in East Jerusalem on May 17, 2021.
Man waves Palestinian flag in East Jerusalem on May 17, 2021. (Photo: Daniel Bateman/VICE News)

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Israel announced a cease-fire on Thursday in the brutal 11-day conflict that left a swathe of devastation in Gaza and has claimed hundreds of lives.  

The deal will take effect Friday morning after Israel accepted an Egyptian proposal to cease hostilities, multiple outlets reported. A senior Hamas official based in Qatar told The New York Times that the group had also agreed to the cease-fire, and that it would begin at 2 a.m. on Friday. 

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The agreement follows diplomatic outreach from U.S. President Joe Biden, who urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to find ways to ease the conflict. The U.S. has no diplomatic contact with Hamas, which it considers a terrorist group, but other countries have also acted as mediators between the two sides, which don’t speak to each other directly. 

For days, the militant Palestinian group known as Hamas has fired rockets into Israel, while Israeli warplanes have dropped bombs on targets in Gaza. 

Health officials in Gaza say that 232 Palestinians, including many civilians, have been killed, and more than 1,900 wounded in aerial assaults since the conflict broke out on May 10, according to Reuters. Israeli authorities say 12 people have been killed by Palestinian rocket attacks and hundreds have been treated for injuries, according to the agency. 

More than 4,000 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza since the fighting began, according to the Times. 

Netanyahu’s office cautioned that “the reality on the ground will determine the continuation of the campaign.”