Israel-Gaza Ceasefire Takes Effect, Ending 11 Days of Bloody Conflict
The fighting began on May 10 after Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist organizations launched rockets at Israel, prompting a swift response from the Israel Defense Forces.
Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system managed to shoot down most of the rockets, according to the military, although the barrages resulted in the death of a dozen Israelis. Gazan health officials report 232 killed; Israel says most of them were terrorists
Rockets continued ahead of the agreed-upon end of violence, with a 53-year-old man in the Eshkol region of southern Israel reportedly lightly injured. Red alert sirens blared as late as 1:49 am in communities close to the Gaza border.
Hamas threatened a barrage of rockets on Israel from the Negev to Haifa if Israel did not stand by the ceasefire. Palestinians celebrated in Gaza and the West Bank with demonstrations and fireworks after the ceasefire came into force, claiming a “victory for the resistance,” Israel’s Kan reported.
US President Joe Biden earlier praised the ceasefire as a “genuine opportunity to make progress.” He said the US would help replenish the Iron Dome systems and, through international organizations, assist the Palestinians in reconstructing damaged buildings and providing humanitarian assistance.
He vowed to work through the Palestinian Authority to ensure the funds do not go to aiding Hamas replenish its arsenal of rockets.
“I welcome the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel, after 11 days of deadly hostilities. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims of the violence and their loved ones,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.