Israel, Hamas Reach Cease-Fire Agreement

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for | Friday, May 21, 2021
Israel, Hamas Reach Cease-Fire Agreement

Israel, Hamas Reach Cease-Fire Agreement

On Friday, Israel and Hamas, a Palestinian terror group, agreed to a cease-fire following 11 days of conflict in the Gaza Strip.

According to NPR, the cease-fire was brokered by Egypt and was accepted by the Israeli Cabinet in a unanimous vote. A Hamas spokesperson said, "The Palestinian resistance will commit itself to this deal as long as the occupation is committed."

According to health officials in Gaza, the conflict, which began on May 10, resulted in the deaths of 232 Palestinians, including 65 children. More than 1,900 were wounded in Israeli airstrikes that were targeting Gazan leaders and underground tunnel networks.

As Reuters reported, Israel said it killed at least 160 combatants in Gaza while Hamas militants fired 4,000 rockets into the country, killing 12 people, including two children.

The recent conflict between Israel and Hamas is the fourth major outbreak of fighting with rockets and airstrikes since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip about 15 years ago.

President Joe Biden and his administration held discussions with Israeli officials, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and others ahead of the agreement. During remarks at the White House, Biden said he saw a "genuine opportunity" to make progress.

Biden also stressed continued support for Israel and said that the U.S. would replenish the Israeli missile defense system, The Iron Dome.

In a statement on Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz shared that he spoke with defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and thanked him for the U.S.'s "support for Israel's actions to protect its civilians and expressed his hope that the cease-fire will be honored."

Despite the cease-fire agreement, tensions between Israelis and Palestinians continued on Friday. At the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Israeli police reportedly fired off stun grenades at Palestinians who were throwing rocks and gas bombs at the officers.

According to Reuters, about 20 Palestinians were wounded in the incident, which died down after about an hour. It is unclear what started the confrontation in the first place.

Hours after the truce was made, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hamas of retaliation if they choose to fire rockets again.

"If Hamas thinks we will tolerate a drizzle of rockets, it is wrong," Netanyahu said in a speech on Friday. He promised to respond with "a new level of force against any expression of aggression against communities around Gaza and any other part of Israel."

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Amir Levy/Stringer

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.