Hello and welcome to the details of Gaza truce between Israel and Hamas begins, mediated by Egypt and now with the details
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GAZA, May 21 ― A truce between Israel and Hamas began today at the hour set by Egyptian mediators, and US President Joe Biden pledged to salve the devastation of the worst fighting in years with humanitarian aid for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
In the countdown to the 2am (2300 GMT Thursday) cease-fire, whose timing Hamas had confirmed but Israel did not, Palestinian rocket salvoes continued and Israel carried out at least one air strike.
Each side said it stood ready to retaliate for any truce violations by the other. Cairo said it would send two delegations to monitor the ceasefire.
Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip, scheduled public celebrations for what it deemed a victory over a militarily and economically stronger foe.
In Israel, relief was bittersweet.
“It's good that the conflict will end, but unfortunately I don't feel like we have much time before the next escalation,” Eiv Izyaev, a 30-year-old software engineer, said in Tel Aviv.
Since the fighting began on May 10, health officials in Gaza said 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, had been killed and more than 1,900 wounded in aerial bombardments. Israel said it had killed at least 160 combatants in Gaza.
Authorities put the death toll in Israel at 12, with hundreds of people treated for injuries in rocket attacks that caused panic and sent people rushing into shelters.
Amid growing global alarm, Biden had urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek de-escalation, while Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations sought to mediate.
In a televised address yesterday, Biden extended condolences to bereaved Israelis and Palestinians and said Washington would work with the United Nations “and other international stakeholders to provide rapid humanitarian assistance” for Gaza and its reconstruction.
Biden said aid would be coordinated with the Palestinian Authority ― run by Hamas' rival, President Mahmoud Abbas, and based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank ― “in a manner that does not permit Hamas to simply restock its military arsenal”.
Hamas is deemed a terrorist group in the West and by Israel, which it refuses to recognise.
The violence was triggered by Palestinian anger at what they assailed as Israeli curbs on their rights in Jerusalem, including during police confrontations with protesters at Al-Aqsa mosque.
Hamas previously demanded that any halt to the Gaza fighting be accompanied by Israeli drawdowns in Jerusalem. An Israeli official told Reuters there was no such condition in the truce. ― Reuters
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