Israel and Hamas, a Palestinian army, have agreed to end a 11-day conflict that has killed at least 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis.
The agreement came the next day The US grew again on Israel to end the Hamas-led bombing of the Gaza Strip, when US President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday that he “expects a significant reduction today in the run-up to the war”.
Netanyahu initially refused, saying he was “determined to continue the project until his goal is achieved”. But when the Israeli security minister met on Thursday, he said he had voted unanimously to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Hamas says the fighting will end at 2 a.m. local time on Friday.
In a statement, Israeli security ministers said their weapons could be revived, saying: “Politicians are convinced that they are realities that will determine the future of the operation.”
Taher al-Nono, a media adviser to Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader, said: “Palestinians reject the deal as long as it works.”
The end of the strike comes after Israeli warplanes and artillery bombed Gaza for more than a week, targeting Hamas troops but causing extensive damage to a densely populated, covered area that is home to 2m people. At least 104 women and children have been killed in Gaza, according to Palestinian health officials.
Hamas, which fought three wars with Israel between 2009 and 2014, fired more than 3,700 rockets into Israeli cities and towns, and two Israeli children were killed.
The most recent war began on May 10 after weeks of conflict in and around Jerusalem and this has sparked the worst war between Israel and Palestine since the 2014 war with Hamas. It started again public confusion between a handful of Arab-Israeli and Jewish minorities, which did not establish political and social leaders in Israel, as well as riots in the West Bank.
The war ended last Thursday was disrupted by Egypt, which stood between the US and Qatar. Cairo said it had sent two security envoys to Tel Aviv and Palestinian territories to pursue possible measures.
An official from the region told the Financial Times that the relationship was deepened when Biden spoke to Netanyahu on Wednesday.
“There has been a lot of encouragement after Biden’s remarks yesterday and I think the Israelis have achieved many of their goals,” he said. “The US has been instrumental in forcing Israel, they have been involved in all of this, but yesterday was the first time for real repression.”
António Guterres, UN secretary-general on Thursday described Gaza as “hell on earth” for children.
“The violence has severely damaged human resources in Gaza, including roads and electricity, which have contributed to the disaster,” Guterres told the UN General Assembly. “The crossing to Gaza is closed and the lack of electricity is affecting the water supply.”
The regional director said Hamas wanted to end the deportation of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah area of East Jerusalem, an idea that has helped initiate 11 days of violence; demolition of the al-Aqsa mosque, the third most holy place in Islam; and support the delivery of relief and construction materials to Gaza. The mosque is located in the Jerusalem area – which Muslims call Haram ash-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as the Temple Mount – which is sacred to all religions.
Negotiations for a ceasefire were also made as Hamas demanded that Israel stop seizing senior members of the group by air strikes, the Arab ambassador said.
The Israeli military has tried to assassinate Hamas leader Mohammed Deif twice in the war, the military told Israeli reporters Wednesday, but has survived both times.
Israeli forces have also abducted Deif’s allies, who are described by reporters as “the most wanted man in Israel”, on May 8, the military has said. Negotiations to end the war before completing Israel’s military plans were also a problem, the Arab ambassador said.