Israeli media say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet has approved a unilateral cease-fire to halt an 11-day military operation in the Gaza Strip.
The decision came after heavy US pressure to halt the offensive.
Israel and Hamas will enter a “mutual and simultaneous” Gaza truce at 2 am on Friday (2300 GMT Thursday), a Hamas official told Reuters.
Family members of the Vaizel family, sit in the kitchen of their house which was damaged after it was hit by a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip earlier this week, in Ashkelon, Israel May 20, 2021. (Reuters)
An Egyptian official said Israel has informed his government, which is mediating a truce, that it intends to end its military operations in Gaza. Speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing behind-the-scenes diplomacy, he said an announcement was expected following the Security Cabinet meeting.
The official spoke shortly after Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi talked by phone with President Joe Biden. The two leaders discussed ways to stop violence in the Palestinian Territories, al-Sissi’s office said.
In Washington, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said reports of a move toward a ceasefire were “clearly encouraging.” She said the US was trying “to do everything we can to bring an end to the conflict.”