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US welcomes announcement of ceasefire b/w Israel, Gaza – White House

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Washington: The United States has thanked Egypt for facilitating the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza militants, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

On Saturday, Egyptian media reported that the ceasefire mediated by Cairo would take effect at 10 p.m. local time on Saturday (19:00 GMT). The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office confirmed in a statement that the truce was coming into force and thanked Egypt for helping secure the ceasefire.

“The United States welcomes tonight’s announcement of a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza-based militants brokered by the Egyptian Government after nearly five days of fighting,” the White House said on Saturday.

According to the statement from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, US officials had worked with regional partners to help achieve the truce.

“We are grateful for the critical diplomatic efforts of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and senior Egyptian officials, as well as Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar,” the White House said.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said late on Saturday night that they had struck targets in the Gaza Strip after the Egypt-mediated ceasefire came into force, in response to rocket fire from Gaza.

The IDF said that two rockets were launched toward Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip on Saturday night. One of the rockets was intercepted, while the second fell in an open area. After the rocket attack, the IDF began striking targets in Gaza.

Less than an hour before the announced ceasefire was expected to come into force, the IDF said that air raid sirens sounded in central and southern Israel near the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday night, Israel launched the “Shield and Arrow” operation conducting airstrikes against Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants in the Gaza Strip. In response, militants of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired over 500 rockets at Israel, according to Israel Defense Forces. At least one Israeli and over 30 Palestinians have died.

As many as 139 Palestinians have been killed as a result of the Israeli operations in the Palestinian territories since the beginning of 2023, with 25 killed in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Health Ministry said on Thursday.

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