Israel and Hamas announce Gaza ceasefire

Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire on Thursday to halt 11 days of fighting in the Gaza Strip.

A statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the security cabinet had “unanimously accepted the recommendations to accept an Egyptian initiative for an unconditional … ceasefire.”

Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad then confirmed the ceasefire in a statement, saying it would come into force at 2:00am on Friday (23:00 GMT on Thursday).

Netanyahu’s office said the two sides were still negotiating exactly when it would take effect.

At least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, have been killed in 11 days of Israeli bombardment.

On the Israeli side, 12 people, including two children, have been killed.

Egypt President Sisi praises US diplomatic effort to negotiate a ceasefire

“I pay tribute and appreciation to the US President Biden for his role in the success of the Egyptian ceasefire initiative,” Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said in a series of tweets after the ceasefire was announced.

Palestinians in Gaza celebrate as ceasefire takes hold

Palestinians in Ramallah celebrated as a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel took hold in the early morning hours of Friday, reported Al Jazeera correspondent Safwat al-Kahlout who described the sounds of fireworks and gun shoots into the air.

Palestinian factions are calling the ceasefire a victory and words of praise to Allah were being broadcast from mosque loudspeakers, al-Kahlout said.

A senior Hamas official planned to visit a Gaza family that had lost 45 members in three residential buildings destroyed by Israeli bombing and would give a speech, he said.

Biden delivers remarks on expected ceasefire

US President Joe Biden spoke about the expected ceasefire between Israel and Hamas from the White House on Thursday afternoon.

“The United States fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks by Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist groups that have taken the lives of innocent civilians,” Biden said at the White House.

Biden said he “commended” the Israelis for bringing the immediate conflict to an end after 11 days and “assured” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of continued US military support during a call earlier in the day.

“These hostilities have resulted in tragic deaths of so many civilians, including children, and I send my sincere condolences to all the families, Israeli and Palestinian, who have lost loved ones,” Biden said.

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