Israel's Netanyahu Announces Cease-Fire

Hamas calls the development a victory
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2021 2:43 PM CDT
Updated May 20, 2021 3:07 PM CDT
Israeli Cabinet Approves Cease-Fire
People inspect destroyed cars and the rubble of a residential building hit by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, Thursday, May 20, 2021.   (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

(Newser)

Israel on Thursday announced a cease-fire in the bruising 11-day war against Hamas militants that caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip and brought life in much of Israel to a standstill, per the AP. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced the cease-fire after a late-night meeting of his Security Cabinet. The statement said the timing of the cease-fire was still being worked out. One member of the Security Cabinet said it would take effect at 2am, roughly three hours after the announcement. A Hamas official, meanwhile, said the declaration of a truce was a defeat for Netanyahu and “a victory to the Palestinian people.”

Ali Barakeh, a member of Hamas’ Arab and Islamic relations bureau, said the militants will remain on alert until they hear from mediators. Once Hamas hears from mediators, the group's leadership will hold discussions and make an announcement, he said. Since fighting broke out on May 10, Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes that it says have targeted Hamas’ infrastructure, including a vast tunnel network. Hamas and other militant groups embedded in residential areas have fired over 4,000 rockets at Israeli cities, with hundreds falling short and most of the rest intercepted. At least 230 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza health officials, while 12 people in Israel have died. (Read more Israel and Palestinians stories.)

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