Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas agreed to a ceasefire on Thursday (local time), ending 10 days of fighting that killed 244 people and wounded over 2,400. The clash between the two sides erupted on May 10 over religious conflict in East Jerusalem, which is considered holy to Judaism and Islam, and the construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
According to CNN, Israel and Hamas issued a statement on Thursday, saying they agreed to a ceasefire. As the ceasefire went into effect from 2 a.m. on Friday, many Gaza residents, who had been hiding from Israeli air strikes, flocked to the streets and cheered in front of the destroyed buildings. The international community, including the United Nations, called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The truce was brokered by Egypt, which has relations with both Israel and Hamas. “I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely,” said U.S. President Joe Biden, hailing the ceasefire. “My administration will continue our quiet and relentless diplomacy toward that end.”
There are concerns, however, that the Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed will keep repeating since the risk of conflict still remains and hardliners from both sides have gained ground through the clash this time. The two sides seemed to have significant difference in understanding the truce, with Hamas saying Israel agreed to withdraw from the site and Israel saying the truce was without conditions.
Israeli raids damaged 450 buildings, including six hospitals, and left more than 70,000 people homeless in Gaza. Providing assistance to those people remains a task for the international community.
Hyun-Seok Lim email@example.com