An Egyptian-mediated truce between Israel and Hamas began on Friday and US President Joe Biden pledged to salve the devastated Gaza Strip with humanitarian aid after the worst fighting in years.
Palestinians, many of whom had spent 11 days huddled in fear of Israeli shelling, poured into Gaza’s streets. Mosque loud-speakers feted “the victory of the resistance achieved over the Occupation [Israel].”
In the countdown to the 2am (2300 GMT Thursday) ceasefire, Palestinian rocket salvoes continued and Israel carried out at least one air strike.
Each side said it stood ready to retaliate for any truce violations by the other. Cairo said it would send two delegations to monitor the ceasefire.
The violence erupted on May 10, triggered by Palestinians’ anger at what they assailed as Israeli curbs on their rights in Jerusalem, including during police confrontations with protesters at Al-Aqsa mosque during the Ramadan fasting month.
The fighting meant many Palestinians in Gaza could not mark the Eid-ul-Fitr festival at Ramadan’s conclusion. On Friday, throughout Gaza, postponed Eid-ul-Fitr meals were held instead.