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Israel and Hamas truce holds on Day 1 – Eagles Vine

People clean the streets of debris beside a building that was previously damaged in an air-strike following a cease-fire reached after an 11-day war between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Israel, in Gaza City, Friday, May 21, 2021 (AP)

NEW YORK: The sirens across southern Israel were silent on Friday, and the thunder of bombs bursting in Gaza City was replaced by sounds of celebratory gunfire as a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas went into force, bringing an end to more than 10 days of fighting that claimed more than 200 lives.
The truce, mediated by Egypt, began at 2 am in Israel as people on either side of the divide watched nervously to see whether it would hold. As morning dawned with no reported violations of the truce, both sides were beginning to take stock of the deadliest Israeli-Palestinian fighting in seven years.
A small skirmish was reported outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on Friday afternoon between Palestinians and the Israeli police, but it appeared limited in scope. However, tensions remained high, and past ceasefires between Israel and Hamas have proved fragile, so both sides were watching developments nervously.
The Israeli aerial and artillery campaign killed more than 230 people in the Gaza Strip, many of them civilians, according to the Gaza health ministry, and badly damaged the impoverished territory’s infrastructure, including the fresh water and sewer systems, the electrical grid, hospitals, schools and roads. The primary target was Hamas’ extensive network of tunnels for moving fighters and munitions, and Israel also sought to kill Hamas leaders and fighters. More than 4,000 rockets had been fired at Israel from Gaza since May 10, killing 12 people, mostly civilians.


The Times of India

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