Gaza death toll from Israeli attacks hits 232, incl 65 children as ceasefire agreed

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA): A “mutual and simultaneous” cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas reached with Egypt mediation took effect at 2 a.m. Friday (2300GMT Thursday)

The Israeli Security Cabinet voted to end attacks on the blockaded Gaza Strip that began May 10 and accept the cease-fire, according to media reports.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri also confirmed the cease-fire deal.

US President Joe Biden said Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed him that Israel agreed to a “mutual, unconditional ceasefire to begin in less than two hours.

“The president said he spoke with Netanyahu six times, as well as with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority as part of his intense diplomatic engagement.”

Israeli warplanes continued to attack the Gaza Strip just one hour before the truce.

The armed wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement fired rockets at regions around Gaza in retaliation for the attacks.

A total of 232 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women, were killed and 1,700 injured, during Israeli attacks on Gaza since May 10, the Gaza-based Health Ministry said.

The Deputy Minister of Housing and Public Works in Gaza Naji Sarhan reported Thursday, that Israeli missiles and shells have damaged 16800 residential units and buildings, including the destruction of 1000, and damaging 1800 units that could collapse at any moment.

The Israeli missiles and shells have displaced more than 120.000 Palestinians; 50.000 of them are in make-shift temporary relocation centers.

70.000 residents sought shelter with relatives across the coastal region.

Five residential towers were destroyed by Israeli missiles in Gaza.

Israeli missiles have destroyed 74 government-run facilities and public buildings, including police stations and public service centers,

in addition Israel destroyed three mosques and causing damage to 40 others, and one church.

Various infrastructure facilities, water, sewage networks, and roads were also bombed.

The updated death toll comes after four Palestinian civilians, including a 2-year-old child, were killed when Israeli fighter jets bombed a house in the central Gaza Strip.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency the house in the city of Deir Al-Balah was completely destroyed by the airstrike, while nearby houses also suffered severe damage.

The witnesses added that the dead included Iyad Abdel-Fattah Salha, his wife Amani Youssef Mahawish, their 2-year-old daughter Nagham Iyad Salha, and Fida Fakhry al-Qudra.

Earlier Wednesday, three Palestinians, including a journalist, were killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City.

Yusuf Abu Hussein, who works for The Voice of Jerusalem radio, lost his live in the attack that targeted his home in Sheikh Radwan neighborhood north of Gaza City, the radio station said in a statement.

Twelve people have also been killed in Israel in Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Recent tensions started in East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and then spread to Gaza as a result of Israeli assaults on worshippers at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

In 1980 it annexed the entire city, a move never recognized by the international community.

Israeli police arrested 58 Arab Israelis early Wednesday in Israel, amid ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, according to a human rights organization.

In a statement, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights (Adalah) said the majority of the arrests took place in cities and towns south of the country.

“[We] communicated with volunteer lawyers to be present in the various police stations to give [legal] advice to the detainees before their interrogation,” Adalah said.

Arab-majority towns in Israel have witnessed marches in solidarity with Palestinian residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

Additional report by

[Photo: Mother of 11-year-old Deema Asaliyeh, who was killed on Israeli attacks, mourn during her funeral ceremony at Jabalia refugee camp in Beit Lahia, Gaza on May 20, 2021. Photgrapher: Mustafa Hassona/AA]



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