World leaders and top diplomats welcomed the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that came into force on Friday, ending an 11-day assault on Gaza.
Once the ceasefire began, fireworks lit the skies as Palestinians flocked to the streets in large numbers, waving flags amid wild scenes of celebration.
Cairo sent two delegations to Gaza and Tel Aviv to ensure implementation, monitor ceasefire, and discuss the next steps, under the directives of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
The ceasefire ends an 11-day conflict that left 232 Palestinians killed by Israeli strikes and 12 Israelis.
Palestinian factions stress commitment to the Cairo ceasefire, hails Egyptian efforts. Both Israel and Palestinian factions call for Egypt to monitor the ceasefire.
US President Joe Biden hailed Egypt’s role in brokering the ceasefire and extended gratitude to Egypt’s President Al-Sisi for his diplomatic role.
Al-Sisi, commended Biden’s role in the success of the Egyptian ceasefire initiative, wishing for continued cooperation to reach a just, comprehensive, and lasting peace in the region.
Similarly, the agreement was welcomed by the Japanese government, expressing its respect for the mediation efforts by the countries concerned including the United States and Egypt.
“The Government of Japan strongly hopes that this agreement will lead to a lasting ceasefire in Gaza strip and long-term stability of the region including Gaza strip. Japan has been making diplomatic efforts for calming down the situation in cooperation with the international community and will continue to work toward building confidence between the parties concerned. Japan is also determined to play an active role, including in providing emergency humanitarian aid and reconstruction assistance,” Japan said in a statement.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The UK welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza, an important step to ending the cycle of violence and loss of civilian life.”
The United Nations also welcomed the Egyptian-mediated truce, but added a warning.
“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,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. “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.”
Russia welcomed the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire as an important step, yet said it remains insufficient without relaunching direct political negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, according to Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that talks should resume between Palestine and Israel, and achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestine issue on the basis of the two-state solution.
On May 18th, Egypt’s Al-Sisi has announced the allocation of $500m for Gaza rebuilding efforts following the recent Israeli attacks.