Israel, Hamas agree ceasefire as Gaza death toll mounts

Israel, Hamas agree ceasefire as Gaza death toll mounts
2 min read
20 May, 2021
A truce has been agreed between Israel and Hamas, Israeli media reported.
At least 232 Palestinians have been killed since May 10 [Getty]

Israel and Hamas are set to enter a ceasefire at 2 a.m. on Friday (2300 GMT Thursday) to end days of Israeli aggression that has killed hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza, Reuters reported, citing a Hamas official.

Both parties agreed to a "mutual and simultaneous" truce described by Israeli media as "quiet in exchange for quiet".

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet had reportedly approved the truce, Israeli media confirmed.

The move would end 11 consecutive days of deadly Israeli bombardment that has killed hundreds in the besieged enclave.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, at least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, have been killed by airstrikes since Israeli launched its deadly bombing campaign on May 10.

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Israel's army claims that its strikes are aimed at military targets and that it tries to avoid "collateral damage" but its bombs have fallen on densely populated residential areas and buildings where journalists, lawyers, and doctors work.

On Wednesday, disabled Palestinian Eyad Saleha, 33, was waiting for lunch when a missile fell on his family home in Gaza, killing him, his pregnant wife and their three-year-old daughter, his brother and authorities said.

The family's living room was blasted to bits, and the mangled parts of a child's red bicycle lay amid the wreckage. Inside their toppled fridge, grey dust covered a bowl of fresh red tomatoes.

Rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups have killed 12 people including one child in Israel in that same period, Israeli police have said.