Egypt-mediated ceasefire between Israel, Palestinians in Gaza comes into effect

Ahram Online , Saturday 13 May 2023

An Egyptian-mediated ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip came into effect at 10pm local time (1900 GMT) on Saturday evening, ending five days of Israeli aggression on the strip.

Smoke rises behind buildings in Gaza city during an Israeli air strike on May 13, 2023. Israeli air
Smoke rises behind buildings in Gaza city during an Israeli air strike on May 13, 2023. Israeli air strikes battered Gaza and militants fired rockets again on May 13, as deadly fighting resumed after a night of relative calm despite efforts to secure a truce. AFP

 

Minutes after the ceasefire came into effect, cautious calm set after five days of round-the-clock Israeli airstrikes which were met hundreds of rockets fired by palestinian militants into Israel.  

The deal includes “abiding by ceasefire, an end to the targeting of civilians and cessation of the demolition of Palestinian homes,” according to the Egyptian Al-Qahera TV station which broke the news.

The Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip started on Tuesday, with airstrikes killing 34 Palestinians, including women and children, and wounding more than 147, according to Palestinian health officials.

The airstrikes also damaged 940 buildings, according to Palestinian Hamas officials who spoke to Reuters.

“This agreement has been reached thanks to continuous Egyptian effort, which we appreciate,” said Mohamad al-Hindi, a leader of the Islamic Jihad group in Gaza.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) extended its thanks to Egypt for its "great role" in reaching the ceasefire, and also expressed appreciation for the efforts made by other international parties.

"We welcome the de-escalation agreement and the cessation of aggression on the Gaza Strip," said Hussein Al-Sheikh, the secretary-general of the PLO's executive committee.

On the other side, Israel's National Security Adviser Tsahi Hanegbi "thanked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and expressed the State of Israel's appreciation for Egypt's vigorous efforts to bring about a ceasefire," according to a statement released from the Israeli prime minister's office.

Hanegbi said Israel's response to the Egyptian initiative means "quiet will be answered by quiet, and if Israel is attacked or be threatened it will continue to do everything it needs to do in order to defend itself."

In the last two years, Egypt mediated ceasefires between Israel and Palestinian factions during similar episodes of fighting in Gaza.

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