Israel-Palestine Highlights: Israel and Hamas called a truce and agreed to a ceasefire on Thursday, halting 11-days of hostilities that brought about widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip and left over 200 people dead. The two states have maintained the ceasefire so far, even as many people remained sceptical.
UN Security Council urges aid for Palestinians
The UN Security Council is welcoming the cease-fire between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers and calls for full adherence to the cessation of hostilities. Saturday's statement was approved by all 15 members of the council. It said the council mourned the loss of civilian lives resulting from the violence and stressed the immediate need for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in Gaza.
Touring Gaza, regional U.N. humanitarian chief presses both sides over ceasefire
After touring rubblestrewn areas of Gaza hit by air strikes during fighting between Israel and Hamas, the top U.N. aid official in the region appealed to both sides on Saturday to observe a ceasefire as aid teams assess the damage.
Egypt, Israel FMs discuss solidifying ceasefire
Egypt Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry has spoken with his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, about stabilising the Cairo-brokered Gaza cease-fire deal.
Antony Blinken to visit Israel, West Bank on May 26-27, source says
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday and Thursday as part of Washington's efforts to build on the Gaza truce, a source briefed on the planning said on Saturday.
Gaza ceasefire holding as Egyptian mediators consult Hamas, Israel
A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip held into Saturday as officials said Egyptian mediators conferred with the sides on securing longer-term calm. The ceasefire began before dawn on Friday, ending 11 days of cross-border shelling exchanges that caused fresh devastation in Gaza, shook up Israel and raised international concern about a slide into wider regional conflict. Egypt, which mediated the halt to the fighting with U.S. support, sent a delegation to Israel at around noon on Friday to discuss ways of firming up the ceasefire, including with aid for Palestinians in Gaza, Hamas officials told Reuters.
Sudan welcomes ceasefire between Israelis and Palestinians
Sudan welcomed the declaration of a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian factions, its foreign ministry said on Friday adding that it appreciated the Egyptian, regional and international efforts to reach this agreement.
Tense calm prevails in Gaza
Israel-Palestine Conflict: Two-state solution is only answer, says Biden
US President Joe Biden has said that there is no shift in the commitment of his administration towards the security of Israel but insisted a two-state solution that includes a state for Palestinians remains the only answer to that conflict. Biden's comment comes a day a ceasefire was announced between Israel and Hamas negotiated by Egypt following an 11-day war that caused a lot of casualties and infrastructure damage in Gaza.
NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week
A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:
Image of pyramids lit with Palestinian flag is manipulated
CLAIM: A photo shows Egypt projected the Palestinian flag on its Giza Pyramids during the latest war between Palestinian militants in Gaza and the Israeli military.
THE FACTS: An internet search reveals this image was fabricated using a 2014 photo of the pyramids that did not feature the flag projection. Since fighting broke out between Israel and the Hamas militant group in Gaza on May 10, neighboring Egypt has treated wounded Palestinians and sent trucks carrying humanitarian aid and medical supplies to Gaza. However, Egypt has not shown solidarity with the Palestinians in the form of a light show on its three famed pyramids of Giza, despite a fake image suggesting as much on social media. The image circulated widely on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on Tuesday, with captions in both Arabic and English. “Egypt showing the flag of Palestine on the pyramids,” wrote a Facebook user. “Thank you Egypt!” In reality, the widely circulating picture is an edit of a 2014 image of the pyramids that can be found on Wikimedia Commons. On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced Israel would halt its offensive against Hamas militants. (via AP)
AP's firing of journalist following tweets prompts outcry
The Associated Press is being criticized for firing a young journalist over her social media activity, with some suggesting the news agency bowed to a political pressure campaign over her pro-Palestinian views from when she was in college. Emily Wilder, 22, had started at the AP on May 3 as a news associate for the Western U.S., based in Phoenix. On Wednesday, just over two weeks later, the AP informed her that she was being terminated for violations of its social media policy that took place after she became an employee. In the days before her firing, Wilder had been targeted in conservative media for her pro-Palestinian rights activism while a student at Stanford University, where she graduated in 2020. AP spokeswoman Lauren Easton would not say what Wilder had written that violated the policy. Wilder said she wasn’t given specifics. Her Twitter feed since joining the AP contains a few retweets that appear sympathetic to Palestinians in the current Gaza conflict, including a video clip of demonstrators chanting, “Free, free Palestine!” On Sunday, she tweeted: “‘objectivity’ feels fickle when the basic terms we use to report news implicitly take a claim. using ‘israel’ but never ‘palestine,’ or ‘war’ but not ‘siege and occupation’ are political choices — yet media make those exact choices all the time without being flagged as biased.” AP prohibits employees from openly expressing their opinions on political matters and other public issues for fear that could damage the news organization's reputation for objectivity and jeopardize its many reporters around the world. (via AP)
Israel and Hamas claim victory as fragile ceasefire holds
The ceasefire agreement between the armed groups of Israel and Palestine in the Gaza Strip seemd to be holding, however the reports of tensions in the occupied East Jerusalem have come up. In East Jerusalem, police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and fired tear gas at the Palestinians after the Friday prayers. The Egyptian brokered ceasefire came into effect in the lee morning hours of Friday after 11 days of non-stop, relentless firing from both sides. A couple thousands of rockets were fired from both sides, thousands of people were injured and over two hundred people died in the conflict.
Good morning, readers! It is day 2 of the fragile ceasefire that still seems to be holding. We will continue to bring live news updates on the conflict and ceasefire, stay tuned with us!
Stay tuned for all the top developments on the Israel-Palestine conflict and subsequent cease fire.
Israel-Palestine News LIVE Updates: Israel hit Hamas very hard; ground reality will determine whether ceasefire holds, says diplomat
Israel has hit Palestinian militant group Hamas "very hard" in the Gaza Strip as it successfully struck hundreds of targets including military and intelligence infrastructure and underground tunnels of the outfit in the last few days, a senior Israeli diplomat said on Friday. Rony Yedidia Clein, the Deputy Chief of the Israeli embassy, said the US and several other countries provided full support to Israeli's action while India had an understanding of it. "We spoke with our Indian counterparts. We have found an understanding from them although they did not go for public expression of support as other countries did. We did have an understanding from the Indian government officials we spoke with about the Israeli actions," she said. Both Israel and Hamas agreed on a ceasefire that has come into effect on Friday after 11 days of intense fighting in which around 230 people were killed in Gaza and 12 in Israel.
Israel-Palestine News LIVE Updates: What was the outcome of the latest Gaza war?
A cease-fire took effect Friday after 11 days of heavy fighting between Israel and Gaza's militant Hamas rulers that was ignited by protests and clashes in Jerusalem. Israel carried out hundreds of airstrikes against what it said were militant targets across Gaza, destroying homes and damaging vital infrastructure in the impoverished territory, which has been under a crippling blockade since Hamas seized power there 14 years ago. Palestinian militants, meanwhile, fired more than 4,000 rockets at Israel, with some reaching as far as Tel Aviv, bringing parts of the country to a standstill. At least 243 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children and 39 women, with 1,910 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Twelve people in Israel, including a 5-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl, were killed.
Israel-Palestine News LIVE Updates: Israel and Hamas cease fire, but Jerusalem clashes break out again
A truce between Israel and Hamas took hold on Friday after the worst violence in years, but brief clashes broke out around Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem where similar scenes had touched off the Gaza conflict. Israel’s bombardment of Gaza and militant rocket attacks on Israeli towns ceased after 11 days under an agreement mediated by Egypt, which is negotiating with both sides on ways to maintain stability. The Gaza violence was set off in part by Israeli police raids of East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and clashes with Palestinians during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Thousands had gathered there for Friday prayers, with many staying on to demonstrate in support of Gaza. Israeli police fired stun grenades towards Palestinians, who threw rocks and petrol bombs at officers, a Reuters witness said, and Palestinian medics said some 20 Palestinians were wounded. The confrontations died down within about an hour, with Israeli police retreating to positions at the compound’s gates.
Israel-Palestine News LIVE Updates: Israeli President praises 'generosity, kindheartedness' of Indian caregiver
Indian caregiver killed in rocket attack from Gaza Jerusalem: Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has praised the "generosity and kindheartedness" of the Indian caregiver who was killed on May 11 in a rocket attack by Palestinian militants from Gaza. Soumya Santosh, 30, who hailed from Kerala's Idukki district, worked as a caregiver attending to an old woman at a house in the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon. She was talking to her husband Santhosh over a video call in the evening on May 11 when a rocket fired from Gaza directly hit the house where she was working.
Rivlin, who called the family of the Indian caregiver on Wednesday expressed his condolences, saying he hopes they would find comfort in her "generosity and kindheartedness", a press statement from the Presidency said on Friday. "President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin spoke earlier this week with the family of Soumya Santosh, an Indian citizen working as a caregiver in Israel, who was killed in rocket fire on Ashkelon on Tuesday May 11," the statement said.
Israel-Palestine News LIVE Updates: Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Jerusalem hours after Gaza truce
Israeli police fired stun grenades towards Palestinians who threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at officers outside Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, just hours after Israel and Hamas reached a ceasefire in Gaza. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said stones were thrown at officers who were at one of the gates on standby. "Units responded and entered the Temple Mount area. They are dealing with these disturbances in order to contain the situation," he added. A Reuters eyewitness said Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails towards police near the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, which sits atop the Old City plateau known to Muslims worldwide as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as Temple Mount. Police also hurled stun grenades at a group of Palestinians marching through the grounds. The site is one of the most sensitive sites in the Middle East conflict and a buildup of clashes there earlier in May touched off the Israel-Hamas conflict when the militant group began firing rockets from Gaza in response and Israel countered with air strikes.
JUST IN | Palestinian protesters, Israeli police clash at Jerusalem site
Scattered clashes between Palestinian protesters, Israeli police at flashpoint Jerusalem site hours after Gaza truce. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hamas against any rocket fire and said that Israel will respond with "new level of force" to any aggression.
Israel-Palestine News LIVE Updates: Bomb blast kills 6 people at pro-Palestinian rally in southwest Pakistan
A bomb blast on Friday killed six people at a pro-Palestinian rally in Southwest Pakistan, police said. The bomb, which was attached to a motorcycle, targeted the vehicle of the leader of the hardline religious party that had organised the event, local police chief Jafar Khan told Reuters by phone. It exploded as people were dispersing at the end of the rally in Chaman city near the Afghan border, he said.
Man arrested in India for Facebook appeal to hoist Palestine flag
Police arrested a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh, India after he made a social media appeal to hoist Palestinian flag on homes and vehicles in a show of solidarity against the Israeli offensive on Gaza. Sudhir Singh, Azamgarh district’s senior superintendent of police told Al Jazeera that they have arrested the man, identified as Yasir Akhtar, after he posted a message on his Facebook page, calling his village residents to display the flag after the congregational prayers on Friday. (via Al Jazeera)
China offering cash, vaccines to people in Gaza
China says it will offer cash and 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinians caught up in the latest fighting in Gaza. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Friday told reporters that $1 million would be provided as emergency humanitarian assistance and another $1 million would go to UNRWA, the U.N. agency that provides vital assistance to the 75 percent of the enclave’s population who are refugees. China will “continue to provide humanitarian support within its capacity and actively participate in the reconstruction of Gaza according to the needs of the Palestinian side,” Zhao said at a daily briefing.
Indonesia Muslims protest at US Embassy over Israel strikes
More than a thousand Muslims rallied outside the US Embassy in Indonesia’s capital on Friday to denounce American support for Israel and demand an end to Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. The protesters marched from several mosques after Friday prayers to a major street outside the embassy, which was under heavy police guard. They halted traffic along the way as they chanted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is Great,” and “Save Palestinians.” Authorities with loudspeakers warned protesters to maintain social distancing during the demonstration, organized by the Islamic Student Association and several other groups, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. More than 3,000 police, many wearing hazmat suits, were deployed to secure the embassy and the nearby presidential palace and United Nations mission.
From Gaza to Chile, Biennale asks: How can we live together?
In the time it has taken to prepare for the Venice Biennale, violence in the Middle East has overtaken a Palestinian family farm in Gaza featured in one of the exhibits. It gives realtime urgency to the question posed by the Biennale curator: How can we live together?
Israel, Hamas agree to ceasefire to end days of deadly fighting
Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire, bringing to an end 11 days of bombardment, the heaviest flareup since the 2014 Gaza War, that has left over 240 people dead and threatened to destabilise the volatile region. The ceasefire, which followed mounting pressure from the US, Egypt and other international brokers to halt the violence, came into effect on Friday.
UN chief welcomes ceasefire between Gaza and Israel
UN chief Antonio Guterres welcomed the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel after 11 days of deadly hostilities and stressed that Israeli and Palestinian leaders have a responsibility beyond the restoration of calm to start a "serious dialogue" to address the root causes of the conflict. Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire on Thursday, halting a bruising 11day war that caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians claim victory as Gaza truce faces early test
Palestinians rallied by the thousands early Friday after a cease-fire took effect in the latest Gaza war, with many viewing it as costly but clear victory for the Islamic militant group Hamas over a far more powerful Israel. The 11-day war left more than 200 dead the vast majority Palestinians and brought widespread devastation to the already impoverished Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. But the rocket barrages that brought life to a standstill in much of Israel were seen by many Palestinians as a bold response to perceived Israeli abuses in Jerusalem, the emotional heart of the conflict.
Explained: How did Hamas grow its arsenal to strike Israel?
The unprecedented barrages reaching as far north as the seaside metropolis of Tel Aviv, coupled with drone launches and even an attempted submarine attack, have put on vivid display a homegrown arsenal that has only expanded despite the chokehold of a 14-year Israeli-Egyptian blockade. The magnitude of the (Hamas) bombing is much bigger and the precision is much better in this conflict, said Mkhaimar Abusada, a professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza City. It's shocking what they've been able to do under siege. Israel has argued that the blockade which has caused severe hardship for more than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza is essential for preventing a Hamas arms build-up and cannot be lifted. Here's a look at how, under intense surveillance and tight restrictions, Hamas managed to amass its cache.