UPDATED 7:08 AM PT – Friday, May 21, 2021
The Israeli government agreed to halt its counter-terror operation in the Gaza Strip following days of rocket strikes from Hamas against Israel.
According to the White House on Thursday, the Israeli cabinet negotiated a ceasefire with Hamas through Egyptian mediators with the sides “agreed in principle” to pause mutual hostilities after 11 straight days of fighting.
“Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu informed me that Israel has agreed to mutual, unconditional ceasefire to begin in less than two hours,” announced Ezzat el-Reshiq, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau. “The Egyptians have now informed us that Hamas and the other groups in Gaza have also agreed.”
The ceasefire reportedly took effect in Israel at 2:00 a.m. local time. Under the terms of the agreement, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it will resume the anti-terror operation if Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu informed me that Israel has agreed to a mutual, unconditional ceasefire. The Egyptians have now informed us that Hamas and the other groups in Gaza have also agreed.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 20, 2021
In Gaza, however, a Hamas official warned the terrorist organization will keep its hands on the trigger while threatening to strike back and continue resistance efforts. In the meantime, the U.S. will continue working with Israel and Hamas leaders in an effort to reestablish peace in the Middle East.
I welcome the ceasefire between Gaza & Israel, after days of deadly hostilities.
All sides must observe this ceasefire.
Israeli & Palestinian leaders have a responsibility beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict. pic.twitter.com/VQHQMpadY8
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) May 21, 2021