The Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip is reopening government buildings on Sunday morning after a ceasefire agreement has been agreed with Israel. The offices have been closed for nearly two weeks due to the shelling between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Work in ministries and government agencies will resume from Sunday morning,” said a statement by the government headed by Hamas.
Hamas carried out rocket attacks on Israel for nearly two weeks, which responded with heavy bombing of the closed Gaza Strip. In Gaza, 232 people were killed, In Israel, 12 people were killed, according to the Health Ministry. It was the most intense conflict between the two sides since 2014.
In the Gaza Strip, Hamas is in charge, President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party rules the Palestinian West Bank.
Ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in effect
The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the radical Palestinian movement that controls the Gaza Strip, officially entered into force last night at 2 a.m.
Last night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli security cabinet approved a ceasefire to end an 11-day military operation in the Gaza Strip. In the hour before the truce came into effect, residents of the Gaza Strip were still reporting Israeli bombing, in southern Israel, alarm sirens still warned residents of Palestinian rocket attacks. But at 2 a.m., shots of joy rang out in the Gaza Strip. People celebrated the end of the fighting in the streets of central Gaza and in cities in the West Bank. The Israeli army, for its part, also reported no more missile attacks.
Relief in Gaza, Hamas claims victory
Residents of Gaza have taken to the streets in large numbers after entering the truce to celebrate the ceasefire with Israel. The Palestinian Hamas movement also claimed “victory” over Israel after the ceasefire came into effect. Many of the Palestinian revelers in Gaza, who were unable to celebrate the Sugar Feast last week due to the 11-day violence last week, shouted, “God is the greatest and thanks God.” The main thoroughfares in the city were packed with cars with drivers sounding their horns and waving flags.
The Hamas militant movement meanwhile crowed victoriously. Speakers of mosques praised “the victory of the resistance over the occupation at the battle of the Sword of Jerusalem”. Several men fired guns into the air or lit fireworks.
A Hamas official in Doha demanded on the night from Thursday to Friday that Israel end the deportation of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem and repair the damage in Gaza. He also told Reuters news agency that Hamas is demanding that the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem be protected. He described the ending of the evictions as a “red line”.
The file would have been a proposal from Egypt’s negotiator. Intensive diplomatic talks were underway to end hostilities. Last night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli security cabinet finally reported that it had agreed to a ceasefire to end the 11-day military operation in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, also confirmed the truce to silence weapons “mutually and simultaneously”.
“Real chance for lasting peace”
The ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas is “a real opportunity” to make progress towards lasting peace in the Middle East. This is how US President Joe Biden responded. “I am convinced that the Palestinians and the Israelis deserve the same amount to live in security and enjoy the same level of freedom, prosperity, and democracy,” Biden said from the White House.
Biden assured that the US government would continue its “discreet and tireless diplomatic work” to achieve that goal. “I am convinced that we have a real opportunity to make progress, and I promise to continue working in that direction.”
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that he would be going to the region one of the coming days. “I look forward to meeting the (Israeli) Foreign Minister and other Israeli, Palestinian and regional leaders,” he wrote on the microblogging site Twitter.
More than 240 dead
The conflict ignited on May 10, and the death toll has now reached more than 240 deaths. Most of the victims (more than 230) fell in the Palestinian enclave on the coast. Tens of thousands of Gaza Strip residents have fled their homes.