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Ceasefire declared between Israel, Hamas: Celebrations at Gaza Strip

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Google Oneindia News

Jerusalem, May 21: Israel and Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire 11 days after deadly fighting which pounded Palestine and forced Israelis to seek shelter from rockets.

Minutes after the truce began, there were celebrations on the streets of Gaza.

Ceasefire declared between Israel, Hamas: Celebrations at Gaza Strip

The truce brokered by Egypt was agreed following mounting international pressure to stop the fighting that erupted on May 10.

"I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress and I'm committed to working toward it," US President Joe Biden said. "Unanimously accepted the recommendation of all of the security officials ... to accept the Egyptian initiative for a mutual ceasefire without pre-conditions," a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanhyu read.

Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely, security and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy, US President Joe Biden has said as Israel and Hamas have agreed to an unconditional ceasefire following a 11 day war that caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip.

"I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and security and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy. My administration will continue our quiet, relentless diplomacy toward that end. I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress and I''m committed to working for it," Biden said on Thursday at the White House.

Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire on Thursday, halting a bruising 11-day war that caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip.

Biden said the US is committed to working with the United Nations to provide rapid humanitarian assistance for the people of Gaza.

"We remain committed to working with the United Nations and other international stakeholders to provide rapid humanitarian assistance and to marshal international support for the people of Gaza and the Gazan reconstruction efforts," he said.

"We will do this in full partnership with the Palestinian authority-not Hamas, authority, in a manner that does not permit Hamas to simply restock its military arsenal," Biden added.

Biden told reporters that he spoke with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in this regard.

"In my conversation with Netanyahu, I commended him for the decision to bring the current hostilities to a close in less than 11 days. I also emphasised what I''ve said throughout this conflict--the United States fully supports Israel''s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks from Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist groups that have taken the lives of innocent civilians in Israel," he said.

"The prime minister also shared with me his appreciation for the Iron Dome system, which our nations developed together and which has saved the lives of countless Israeli citizens, both Arab and Jew. I assured him of my full support to replenish Israel''s Iron Dome system to ensure its defenses and security in the future," Biden added.

Over the last 11 days, Biden said he spoke with the Prime Minister Netanyahu six times while with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority more than once as part of his intense diplomatic engagement.

He thanked President al-Sisi and the senior Egyptian officials who played such a critical role in this diplomacy.

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