Ending a bruising 11-day war , Israel and Hamas have announced a ceasefire. A clash that had caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip and brought life in much of Israel to a standstill.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Israel accepted the Egyptian proposal after a late-night meeting of his Security Cabinet. Hamas quickly followed suit and said it would honour the deal.
The agreement would close the heaviest round of fighting between the bitter enemies since a 50-day war in 2014, and once again there was no clear winner.
Israel inflicted heavy damage on Hamas but was unable to prevent the rocket fire that has disrupted life for millions of Israelis for more than a decade.
The fighting began May 10, when Hamas militants in Gaza fired long-range rockets toward Jerusalem after days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a flashpoint site that is known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.
Heavy-handed police tactics at the compound and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers had inflamed tensions.
Israel launched hundreds of airstrikes during the operation, targeting what it said was Hamas’ military infrastructure, including a vast tunnel network. Hamas and other militant groups embedded in residential areas fired over 4,000 rockets at Israeli cities, with hundreds falling short and most of the rest intercepted.
At least 230 Palestinians were killed, including 65 children and 39 women, with 1,710 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which does not break the numbers down into fighters and civilians.
Hamas and the militant group Islamic Jihad said at least 20 of their fighters were killed, while Israel said the number was at least 130.