Israel and Hamas announce Gaza ceasefire

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Israeli security cabinet and Hamas agree to Egyptian-brokered ceasefire to halt 11 days of fighting.

A statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the security cabinet had “unanimously accepted the recommendations to accept an Egyptian initiative for an unconditional … ceasefire.”

Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad then confirmed the ceasefire in a statement, saying it would come into force at 2:00am on Friday (23:00 GMT on Thursday).

Netanyahu’s office said the two sides were still negotiating exactly when it would take effect.

With a ceasefire on the table, Israelis and Palestinians are counting the cost of 11 days of fighting that brought death, destruction and instability to the Middle East.

These statistics give a sense of the toll this conflict has exacted:

  • At least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, have been killed since the conflict began. In Israel, at least 11 people have been killed, including two children
  • In the last 24 hours alone, 11 Palestinians were killed, including at least seven civilians, and another 190 people were injured
  • The conflict displaced more Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, bringing the total number to about 91,000, according to UN figures
  • Gaza’s housing ministry said 16,800 housing units had been damaged. Of those, 1,800 had become unfit for living and 1,000 were destroyed completely
  • Hamas’s media office estimated the bombardments had caused $40m (£28m) in damage to factories and the strip’s industrial zone
  • Israel’s military said more than 4,300 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory. Of those, 90% were intercepted by Israel’s defence system, known as the Iron Dome
  • Israel’s manufacturers’ association calculated that the economic cost of the first three days of fighting came to about $166m

Around the world people are still stunned by the violence carried out against the oppressed Palestinians while their plight has been brought to the front of world politics but at the cost of so many innocent lives from all sides.

We now expect the usual overtures from world leaders and their promises of a concerted effort to bring about lasting peace. Perhaps another peace accord where Biden gets a Nobel peace prize and everyone else gets what they want except the Palestinians of course.

Why not a ‘one state solution?’

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