Gaza ceasefire announced following brutal three-day Israeli bombardment

Last year, Qatar and Egypt helped broker a ceasefire that ended an 11-day bombardment of the besieged city.

A Qatar and Egypt-brokered ceasefire to end Israel’s latest offensive in the Gaza Strip, where dozens of Palestinians were killed, was announced late on Sunday.

The “comprehensive and reciprocal ceasefire” to end the deadly offensive on the besieged city will come into effect at 11:30pm following intensive talks between Egypt, the Israeli regime and Gaza’s ruling-Hamas movement.

The three-day attacks killed more than 40 Palestinians, including at least 15 children, triggering outrage worldwide.

Commenting on the latest developments in Gaza, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Dr. Majed Al-Ansari said the Gulf state’s role “was pivotal to ensure the reduction of tension and the arrival of a ceasefire”.

“The intensive Qatari contacts helped us identify the reality of the situation in Gaza…our diplomacy depends on dialogue and bringing parties together, and it has achieved success on several fronts,” Dr. Al-Ansari told Al Jazeera in a televised interview.

The official noted that the Palestinian file “is one of the most important files that Qatari diplomacy is working on”.

According to Al Jazeera, the announcement involves an Egyptian commitment to follow up on the files of Palestinian prisoners, especially Khalil Awawdeh and Islamic Jihad official Bassam Al-Saadi.

Awawdeh has been on a hunger strike for more than 100 days in protest of his “administrative detention” by the Zionist state.

Al-Saadi was arrested again last week after spending 15 years in Israeli prison for his involvement in the Islamic Jihad group. Following his arrest, Israel closed roads surrounding Gaza.

The Zionist state has long used the fight against Hamas and other Palestinian groups as the pretext for its attacks on defenceless civilians in Gaza. 

The Egypt-brokered deal also involves easing the siege on the strip as well as introducing fuel trucks to the city’s sole power station from Monday. Gaza’s power plant shut off on Saturday amid the latest round of bombardment, as Israel simultaneously closed the Karam Abu Salem crossing.

Qatar-funded fuel helps power the city’s electricity station, which provides electricity in eight-hour rotations for the public.

Israel withholds fuel from the power plant and also controls up to 90% of water in the besieged enclave. Sources and figures show just 10.5% Palestinians in Gaza have access to safe drinking water.

Palestinians have pointed to a pattern in attacks on Gaza in the lead up to Israeli election season in a bid to gain legitimacy among far-right citizens.

“Between 2019 and 2021, there were 4 Israeli elections—all of which failed to establish a majority government. The solution to this political crisis? A devastating 15-day assault on the Gaza Strip ending on May 21st, which gave rise to a new government by June 2,” tweeted Palestinian writer Mohammed El-Kurd.

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