Gaza Truce Takes Effect Between Israel and Islamic Jihad

A fragile truce between Israel and Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad has taken effect in the Gaza Strip after days of cross-border fighting triggered by surprise Israeli air strikes. 

President Joe Biden welcomed the agreement, and called on both sides to fully implement the ceasefire, and ensure fuel and humanitarian supplies continue to flow into Gaza as the fighting subsides. 

Biden also lamented the injury and death of civilians but did not specify who was responsible. 

“The reports of civilian casualties in Gaza are a tragedy, whether by Israeli strikes against Islamic Jihad positions or the dozens of Islamic Jihad rockets that reportedly fell inside Gaza,” Biden said. 

Biden said that the United States worked with both sides as well as regional partners “to encourage a swift resolution to the conflict.” 

Israeli strikes and militant rockets continued all the way through up to minutes before the truce began. 

Egyptian mediators said the truce began at 11:30 pm local time. 

Israel confirmed the ceasefire was set to take hold, but that it would respond if it was violated. Islamic Jihad also confirmed the agreement, and thanked Egyptian efforts to end the Israeli aggression. 

The UN Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting today on the violence. 

UN Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland said in a statement that the UN underscores the commitment to do everything they can towards ending the ongoing escalation and ensuring safety and security of the civilian population. 

The deal should at least temporarily halt the violence that erupted in the blockaded territory on Friday. 

Palestinian health officials said a total of 44 Palestinians, among who were 15 children, as well as members of the Islamic Jihad, have now been killed in the bombing campaign. More than 300 people were injured. Thirteen Israelis have been treated in the hospital for minor injuries. 

This marks the worst outbreak of violence between Israeli and Palestinian militants since an 11-day-war in May 2021.

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