On Thursday 20 May, Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office announced that the security cabinet had voted unanimously to accept the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire after 11 days of bombing Gaza.
Officials of Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, also accepted the proposal. One Hamas official, Ali Barakeh, said the truce was a defeat for Netanyahu and “a victory to the Palestinian people.”
The Israeli bombing campaign has killed more than 230 people in Gaza, many of them civilians and children, and badly damaged infrastructure, including plumbing systems, the electrical grid, hospitals, schools and roads.
Rockets fired at Israel from Gaza have killed 12 people.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “Israeli and Palestinian leaders have a responsibility beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict.”
US President Biden said he would marshal international resources to rebuild Gaza. “We will do this in full partnership with the Palestinian Authority — not Hamas, the Authority — in a manner that does not permit Hamas to restock its arsenal.”
Biden has been criticised around the world and in his own party for refusing to agree to a joint UN security council call for a ceasefire, and his failure to directly criticise Israel for the heavy civilian casualties from its bombardment of Gaza, in response to Hamas rockets.