UN Rights Council to hold session on Israel-Palestine on May 27

Palestinians gather at the site of Israeli air strikes in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip

The ceasefire would reportedly begin at 2 a.m. on Friday, according to a senior Hamas leader, though an official statement from Israel's Prime Minister's office stated that the ceasefire will begin at a later time, CNN reports. People went out of their homes, some shouting "Allahu Akbar" or whistling from balconies.

Like the three previous wars between the bitter enemies, the latest round of fighting ended inconclusively. Israel inflicted heavy damage on Hamas but was unable to prevent the rocket fire that has disrupted life for millions of Israelis for more than a decade.

The vote came after both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz endorsed the ceasefire.

Israel considers Hamas, an Islamic militant group that seeks its destruction, to be a terrorist group and Hamas' government is not internationally recognized. But it now faces the daunting challenge of rebuilding in a territory already suffering from poverty, widespread unemployment and a raging coronavirus outbreak.

In a televised address on Thursday, Biden extended condolences to bereaved Israelis and Palestinians and said Washington would work with the United Nations "and other worldwide stakeholders to provide rapid humanitarian assistance" for Gaza and its reconstruction.

Hours before the cease-fire agreement was reached, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Israelis had "achieved significant military objectives" in their strikes meant to degrade Hamas military capabilities and reiterated that Biden expected the Israelis to start "winding down" their operations. It also stated that it believes deterrence has been reestablished against Hamas.

"Gaza is an integral part of the future Palestinian state and no effort should be spared to bring about real national reconciliation that ends the division", he said.

The fighting erupted on May 10, when Hamas militants in Gaza fired long-range rockets toward Jerusalem.

"From the very start, Palestinians wanted to send a message of unity that their various forms of resistance - in Gaza, in East Jerusalem and throughout Palestine, including historic Palestine, today's Israel- are all one and the same", Baroud added, arguing that the nature of Israel's ceasefire declaration, however, represents Israel's insistence on delinking the Palestinian struggle and to present its war on Gaza as if an isolated conflict pertaining to its security.

Hamas and other Palestinian groups fighting against Israeli aggression say at least 20 of their fighters have been killed, while Israel says the number is at least 130. Dozens of projectiles flew as far north as Tel Aviv, the country's bustling commercial and cultural capital. A rocket attack on Tuesday near Gaza killed two Thai workers and wounded another seven. Supporters shouted "victory" and waved green Hamas flags.

Hamas fired more than 4,000 rockets into Israel during the fighting, launching the projectiles from civilian areas at Israeli cities.

At least 217 Palestinians have been killed in airstrikes, including 63 children, with more than 1,500 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which does not break the numbers down into fighters and civilians.

The push to stop the Biden administration's weapons sale comes as the government of right-wing Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resists global pressure to stop the bombing campaign, which has killed more than 220 people in Gaza since it began last Monday.

The United States has traditionally shielded its ally Israel at the United Nations. But as the fighting dragged on and the death toll mounted, the Americans increasingly pressured Israel to stop the offensive. In another sign of potential escalation, militants in Lebanon fired a rocket barrage into northern Israel.

In Washington, Biden hailed the cease-fire. "I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress and I've committed to working for it".

"We will do this in full partnership with the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas. and in a manner that does not permit Hamas to simply restock its military arsenal", Biden said.

Netanyahu quickly came under heavy criticism from members of his hawkish, nationalist base.

Several videos posted on social media platforms show the street brawl between pro-Palestinian protesters and pro-Israel demonstrators in NY.

An Egyptian official said only that tensions in Jerusalem "will be addressed".



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