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Palestinians run for cover from tear gas fired by Israeli security forces at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound on May 10, 2021, ahead of a planned march to commemorate Israel's takeover of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.  - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Ceasefire Between Israel and Hamas Enters Into Force

The crisis escalated earlier this month, with Arabs and Jews clashing in Jerusalem after reports emerged that worshippers had been denied access to the al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam.

Israeli security cabinet unanimously adopted Egypt's initiative for a bilateral unconditional ceasefire on Thursday, with the truce set to enter into force at 2 a.m. local time [23:00 GMT] after 11 days of rocket attacks and air strikes. 

Hamas has also agreed to abide by the truce.

Tensions between Israel and the Gaza Strip-based Hamas Islamist group rose late on 10 May. According to the most recent data, 12 people have been killed and over 50 seriously injured in Israel, while the number of Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes has reached 227, including 64 children.

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02:36 GMT 21.05.2021

TORONTO (Sputnik) - A group of Canadian parliamentarians and senators is urging the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to employ the diplomatic tools used in pressure campaigns against Russia and China, in support of Palestinians caught up in the conflict between militant groups in Gaza and Israel.

“In pursuit of upholding the rights of Palestinians, we ask that Canada apply the same diplomatic tools that Canada has used in condemning China’s behavior in Xinjiang Uyghur [Autonomous] Region, and in sanctioning Russian officials involved in the annexation of Crimea,” the Canada-Palestinian Parliamentary Friendship Group, consisting of 24 Members of Parliament and two Senators, said in a letter addressed to Trudeau on Thursday.

The multi-partisan parliamentary faction, consisting of members of the governing Liberals, opposition New Democrats and independents, emphasized that the so-called two-state solution is made unfeasible by evictions of Palestinians and the establishment of Israeli settlements on lands intended for a Palestinian state, calling for Canada to insist that Israel respects international law.

The group added it is carefully watching the ceasefire reached by Israel and Gaza Strip-based Islamist groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and hope that it endures.

02:14 GMT 21.05.2021
Palestinians celebrate in the streets following a ceasefire, in the southern Gaza Strip May 21, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920
Video: Streets in Gaza Filled With People Celebrating Ceasefire Between Israel, Hamas
01:03 GMT 21.05.2021
00:00 GMT 21.05.2021

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – European Council President Charles Michel has welcomed the ceasefire reached by Israel and the Gaza Strip-based Hamas Islamist movement.

"Welcome announced ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ending the 11-day conflict. Opportunity for peace and security for citizens must be seized," Michel wrote on his Twitter page on late Thursday.

23:00 GMT 20.05.2021

In accordance with the agreement announced earlier in the day by the Israeli security cabinet, ceasefire between Tel Aviv and Hamas entered into force at 2 a.m. local time [23:00 GMT].

22:53 GMT 20.05.2021

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he welcomed the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and called on all parties to observe it.

“I welcome the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel after 11 days of deadly hostilities,” Guterres said on Thursday. “I call on all sides to observe the ceasefire.”

22:51 GMT 20.05.2021
22:28 GMT 20.05.2021
22:11 GMT 20.05.2021

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Israel and Palestininians have agreed on a ceasefire, US President Joe Biden said on Thursday.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu informed me that Israel has agreed to a mutual, unconditional ceasefire to begin in less than two hours," Biden said.

21:36 GMT 20.05.2021

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Russia’s deputy envoy to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy has proposed holding an immediate ministerial meeting of the Quartet states' representatives - comprising the United Nations, Russia, European Union and the United States - to de-escalate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"We speak in support of the more active work of Middle East Quartet. We propose to hold a ministerial meeting of the Quartet without delay to de-escalate the situation and create an atmosphere of trust. We also propose to convene a ministerial meeting of the Quartet in an expanded format with the participation of regional states in order to take into account the views of interested stakeholders,"Polyanskiy said on Thursday during his speech at the UN General Assembly meeting.

21:30 GMT 20.05.2021

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Russia hopes to see the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement become long-term one, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy said during remarks at the UN General Assembly.

"We would very much like to see that ceasefire become a long-term one," Polyanskiy said on Thursday.

Polyanskiy said urgent measures are needed to launch dialogue between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

21:01 GMT 20.05.2021

GAZA (Sputnik) - Hamas will abide by the ceasefire if Israel adheres to it, Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nono told journalists.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli security cabinet unanimously adopted Egypt's initiative for a bilateral unconditional ceasefire, which would take effect later.

"Egypt has informed us that an agreement has been reached on a mutual and simultaneous ceasefire in the Gaza Strip starting at 2 a.m. on Friday, May 21, 2021 [23:00 GMT Thursday]. The Palestinian Resistance (Hamas) will abide by this agreement if the occupiers adhere to it," al-Nono said.

20:57 GMT 20.05.2021

The White House announced on Thursday that US President Joe Biden will deliver remarks on the Middle East at 5:45 p.m. EDT [21:45 GMT]. 

20:50 GMT 20.05.2021

TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israel has achieved unprecedented success in terms of scale and accuracy of strikes on the Gaza Strip-based militants, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in light of the agreed ceasefire.

On Thursday, the Israeli security cabinet unanimously adopted Egypt's initiative for a bilateral unconditional ceasefire, which would take effect at 23:00 GMT on Thursday. Hamas has also confirmed its plans to abide by the truce.

“I would like to thank our security forces and the Israel Defense Forces under the leadership of the Chief of Staff, which in the past 11 days have reached the unprecedented scale, precision and strategic importance of a war against terrorist organizations in Gaza,” Gantz said in a statement.

He added that the Israeli Defense Ministry was still ready to protect the country's civilians.

20:50 GMT 20.05.2021

CAIRO (Sputnik) - Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Gaza Strip-based Hamas Islamist movement, said that it had suspended preparations for a massive strike on whole Israel – from Ramon to Haifa – in light of the upcoming ceasefire.

"We say clearly: we have prepared for the strike that would affect whole Palestine – from Haifa to Ramon – but we have suspended this massive rocket strike on the enemy as we have agreed on the ceasefire to watch the enemy's behavior," the military wing's spokesman, Abu Obeida, said.

He added that Hamas could launch this attack in case of the ceasefire's collapse.

20:35 GMT 20.05.2021

TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israel's home front command ordered residents of areas bordering the Gaza Strip to remain in shelters until further notice, the army's said.

"In accordance with updated instructions from the home front command, residents of areas located within seven kilometers of the border with the Gaza Strip are asked to stay in their homes and in the immediate vicinity of shelters from now until further notice," the military said.

It is noted that any activity or movement in the open space in this area is prohibited.

20:17 GMT 20.05.2021

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Canada welcomes the news of a potential ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians, but it is only the beginning, Canada's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bob Rae said on Thursday.

"The news that peace may be emerging from decisions of governments, both in Israel and elsewhere is good news but it can only be a start," Rae said.

Rae emphasized that Canada urges utmost restraint on both sides and strongly supports the work of the United Nations and other specific countries aimed at negotiating and maintaining a ceasefire and restoring calm.

"We are calling for immediate de-escalation, for a protection of civilians, and yes, for an end to all violence," he said. "We call for a resolution of the underlying causes of the conflict and we call for peace, mutual recognition and mutual respect."

Rae also said Canada stands with both, the Israeli and Palestinian peoples in their right to live in peace and security.

19:49 GMT 20.05.2021

Less than a half hour following the announcement of the approval of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Israel Defense Forces issued a warning that rocket alert sirens were sounding in the southern part of the country.

19:00 GMT 20.05.2021

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom calls on Israel to adhere to principles of proportionality in order to avoid civilian casualties during its attacks against Hamas in Gaza, UK Ambassador to the United Nations Barbara Woodward said on Thursday.

"Israel has a legitimate right to self-defense and a right to defend its citizens from attack," Woodward said during a General Assembly meeting addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "In doing so, it is vital that Israel makes every effort to avoid civilian casualties. We call on Israel to adhere to the principles of necessity and proportionality when defending its legitimate security interest."

Woodward said the United Kingdom urges the warring parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire.

The United Kingdom is concerned about reports that the Palestinian Hamas movement is again using civilian infrastructure and populations as cover for military operations, Woodward said.

She went on to say that London was also concerned about reports that medical facilities, schools and hundreds of homes in Gaza have been destroyed in damaged. In response to these reports, she added, the United Kingdom will provide about $4.5 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

The current episode of the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict broke out last week after the civil unrest in East Jerusalem, prompting hostilities on the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip, with Palestinian militants having launched approximately 3,700 rockets against Israel, which retaliates with airstrikes. The sides have been firing rockets at each other ever since, leaving 217 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead.

18:38 GMT 20.05.2021
17:42 GMT 20.05.2021

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Joe Biden spoke with his Egypt counterpart Abdel Fattah Sisi over the telephone about the vital role Egypt and other countries in the Middle East can have to end the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a press briefing on Thursday.

"I can confirm they had a call, and just to remind you part of that engagement is a reflection of what we’ve been talking about a bit in this briefing room - was the important role that a number of countries in the region can play, including the Egyptians, in bringing an end to the conflict," Psaki said. "They have an important role to play in influencing Hamas. Hence the President has a conversation with him this morning."

17:19 GMT 20.05.2021
Debris fly as smoke rises following an Israeli air strike, amid Israeli-Palestinian fighting, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa  - Sputnik International, 1920
White House Finds Reported Plans of Ceasefire Between Israel and Hamas Promising
17:00 GMT 20.05.2021
Berlin aerial view - Sputnik International, 1920
Pro-Israel Demonstrators Take to Streets in Berlin
16:50 GMT 20.05.2021

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum on Thursday called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to declare a state of humanitarian emergency in the Gaza Strip to allow humanitarian access and undertake steps for reconstruction.

“We call upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations to declare a state of humanitarian emergency to allow the international community to effectively alleviate the suffering of Palestinian civilians and to take steps to re-construct Gaza,” Boukadoum, who was speaking on behalf of the Group of Arab States, said in a special meeting of the UN General Assembly.

The gravity of the situation in Gaza requires collective efforts to immediately cease the hostilities and address the humanitarian consequences of the renewed Israeli-Palestinian escalation, Boukadoum added.

According to UN figures, Israeli airstrikes have already displaced some 58,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

The exchange of airstrikes between Israel and the Gaza Strip has continued since May 10. The sides blame the deadly face-off on each other.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said earlier in the day, at least 230 Palestinians, including 65 children, have already been killed in the hostilities.

16:45 GMT 20.05.2021

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Dozens of people rallied outside the embassy of the Palestinian National Authority in the center of the Russian capital on Thursday in solidarity with the Arab nation as Israel continued pounding Gaza with air strikes in response to Hamas rocket launches.

Protesters carried Palestinian flags and banners that read "Freedom to Palestine," "Our children are under threat," "Where are you UN?" and "We demand recognition of Palestinian people’s right to statehood and an end to Israeli occupation in the Middle East."

Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas have exchanged thousands of rocket strikes since 10 May when police and Palestinians clashed across eastern Jerusalem after weeks of rising tensions. The firing has killed 12 Israelis and 230 people in Gaza, almost a quarter of them children.

15:45 GMT 20.05.2021
15:43 GMT 20.05.2021
Protesters unfold a large Palestinian flag during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Paris on August 2, 2014 - Sputnik International, 1920
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14:34 GMT 20.05.2021
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