Israel and Hamas declare ceasefire in Gaza

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Israel and Hamas declare ceasefire in Gaza

It follows 11 days of rocket fire and air strikes, and the deaths of 12 people in Israel and over 230 Palestinians

A streak of light is seen over Ashkelon as Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip earlier this week (Photo: Reuters/Amir Cohen)
A streak of light is seen over Ashkelon as Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip earlier this week (Photo: Reuters/Amir Cohen)

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas will come into force within hours, ending 11 days of the heaviest fighting seen in the region since 2014.

It was approved by a meeting of the Israeli security cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday evening.

Reports from both Hamas and Israeli sources said it would come into force at 2am local time (midnight in the UK).

But there were reports of rockets being fired from Gaza ahead of the deadline.

Benny Gantz, the Israeli defence minister, said the IDF had made “unprecedented military achievements in the last 11 days”.

He added in a tweet: “The reality on the ground will determine the continuation of operations.”

Hamas called it a defeat for Netanyahu and “a victory to the Palestinian people.”

The deal comes a day after US President Joe Biden urged Netanyahu to wind down military operations in the region.

Since fighting broke out on May 10, over 4,000 rockets have been fired at central and southern Israel by Hamas, while the IDF has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Gaza.

12 people have died in Israel while at least 230 Palestinians have been killed.

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