Ceasefire welcomed as UN chief calls for real efforts to address the root causes of the conflict and achieve national reconciliation.
A ceasefire has come into force in the Gaza Strip after Egypt brokered an agreement between Israel and Hamas to halt 11 days of conflict.
Thousands of people in Gaza and the Palestinian territories poured onto the streets to celebrate the ceasefire, waving flags and flashing “V” signs for victory.
At least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, have been killed in the Israeli bombardment.
On the Israeli side, 12 people, including two children, have been killed.
Here are some reactions to the latest developments:
Antonio Guterres, United Nations secretary-general
“I stress 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.
“Gaza is an integral part of the future Palestinian state and no effort should be spared to bring about real national reconciliation that ends the division.”
Joe Biden, US president
“We remain committed to work with the United Nations and other international stakeholders to provide rapid humanitarian assistance and to marshal international support for the people in Gaza and in the Gaza reconstruction efforts.”
“I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy.”
“My administration will continue our quiet, relentless diplomacy toward that end. I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress and I am committed to working for it.”
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egyptian president
“With utter happiness, I have received a phone call from President Biden in which we have exchanged visions around reaching a formula that would calm the current conflict between Israel and Gaza, our vision was in tune about managing the conflict between all parties with diplomacy.”
Tor Wennesland, UN Middle East peace envoy
“I welcome the ceasefire between #Gaza & #Israel. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims of the violence & their loved ones. I commend #Egypt & #Qatar for the efforts carried out, in close contact w/ the @UN, to help restore calm. The work of building #Palestine can start.”
I welcome the ceasefire between #Gaza & #Israel. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims of the violence & their loved ones. I commend #Egypt & #Qatar for the efforts carried out, in close contact w/ the @UN, to help restore calm. The work of building #Palestine can start.
— Tor Wennesland (@TWennesland) May 20, 2021
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the UN
“Now, we must turn our focus toward making more tangible progress toward a durable peace. And we must work together to address the urgent humanitarian needs on the ground, which are especially – in fact significantly – immense in Gaza.”
Dominic Raab, UK foreign secretary
“Welcome news of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. All sides must work to make the ceasefire durable and end the unacceptable cycle of violence and loss of civilian life. UK continues to support efforts to bring about peace.”