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Ceasefire between Israel, Palestinian groups in Gaza Strip enters into force

The truce was achieved after 11 days of intense rocket fire between the parties under Egypt’s active mediation

CAIRO, May 21. /TASS/. A ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian groups controlling the Gaza Strip entered into force on Friday at 2 a.m. local time.

Al-Aqsa TV reports that the "resistance victory" is being celebrated in the Gaza Strip, while hundreds of people took to streets in Ramallah with Palestinian flags to mark the end of the hostilities, fireworks are being launched.

The truce was achieved after 11 days of intense rocket fire between the parties under Egypt’s active mediation. On Thursday, Israel’s Security Cabinet adopted a unilateral ceasefire at its special session, while Hamas agreed to the ceasefire with Cairo’s mediation.

According to Egypt’s state TV, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi gave instructions on Thursday to dispatch two delegations to Palestine and Israel to monitor the ceasefire. An official source in Cairo told TASS, "one group is already in Ramallah, it was conducting contacts with the Palestinian side to achieve a ceasefire, the second will urgently head off to Tel Aviv." Egyptian envoys will observe and monitor the implementation of the agreements as well as discussions over the next steps which will make it possible to maintain stability permanently.

Meanwhile, the parties were exchanging fire until the very last moment as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported more rocket strikes from Gaza just 12 minutes before the ceasefire started.

Conflict escalation

The exchange of rocket fire between Israel and the Gaza Strip began on May 10 and was triggered by riots at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque. Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police erupted after an Israeli court had ruled to evict several Palestinian families from the city’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and hand the property over to Jewish settlers. According to latest data, 232 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and at least 12 Israelis have been killed.