Israel and Hamas agree ceasefire to end 11 days of violence


Israeli and Hamas have agreed a ceasefire to end their conflict after 11 days of fighting.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced the ceasefire and a statement from the security cabinet called the truce “mutual and unconditional”.

Hamas said the truce would begin at 2am local time on Friday (midnight UK time), but Israel said the time was yet to be agreed.

The breakthrough came a day after US President Joe Biden called for an urgent de-escalation and a path to a ceasefire, and followed mediation bids by Egypt, Qatar and the UN.

At least 230 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, according to Gaza health officials, while 12 in Israel have died.

Hamas has launched thousands of rockets at Israel – which retaliated with days of air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Both sides appear to be framing the ceasefire as a victory.

More on Gaza

The Israeli cabinet announcement said the Egypt-brokered bilateral ceasefire had been agreed unanimously and that the campaign had made some “unprecedented” achievements.

Hamas’s Osama Hamdan said the group had obtained guarantees from the mediators that the attacks on Gaza would stop.

A statement said its “resistance” was “a new victory and a new equation”.

It also claimed to have “obtained guarantees” over the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque – the issues largely blamed for starting the fighting.

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