Update(6:00pm): Sleepy Joe takes a victory lap... The president is expected to speak late afternoon on the ceasefire in Gaza. Live Feed:
In the meantime, it bears repeating that...
today the Biden admin blocked, for the FIFTH time, a UN resolution calling for a Gaza ceasefire. Credulous puff pieces in WaPo and NYT about mysterious private phone calls between Biden and Netanyahu notwithstanding, this is the official position of the US https://t.co/9m4FU1ZqM8— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) May 20, 2021
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It appears the persistent rumors over the past two days that an Israel-Hamas ceasefire over Gaza is imminent will now become a reality as Israel's Ynet news is reporting that Israel's security cabinet has formally approved a truce in Gaza. One Israeli official was cited in Ynet as saying the truce agreement was based on "quiet in exchange for quiet".
Netanyahu had called the urgent meeting of his security cabinet for 7pm Jerusalem time, and it came a day after President Biden phoned the Israeli leader to urge "de-escalation" and to set in motion a path toward ceasefire.
Initially on Wednesday Netanyahu had appeared to rebuff Biden's proposal, saying the military would seen all necessary operations in Gaza through to the end.
A Hamas official has also been cited in international press wires as confirming a "mutual and simultaneous" truce with Israel to begin at 2 AM on Friday.
Over the last 24 hours, however, the fighting appeared to intensify, with over 230 Gazans killed in airstrikes since fighting began a week-and-a-half ago, and with some one-third of these casualties children.
It will bring to an end eleven full days of fighting - the worst outbreak of war between the two sides wince the 2014 war in Gaza.
BREAKING: The Israeli cabinet has approved a ceasefire to end a military operation in the Gaza Strip.— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 20, 2021
A Hamas official has also confirmed a "mutual and simultaneous" truce with Israel to begin at 2am on Friday (midnight UK time).
Read more: https://t.co/aD92eVuvbw pic.twitter.com/HoRUcVR71n
In prior ceasefire scenarios where a specific time is agreed upon, rockets have continued to be launched from Gaza into the hours and minutes just before it takes effect.
184 residential towers, houses, and 33 media centers have been completely demolished in Israel’s air strikes on Gaza. More than 1,335 housing units were completely or severely demolished, and about 13,000 were partially damaged.— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) May 20, 2021
Intentional de-development https://t.co/nCGtZwohOk
Also expect further airstrikes from Israel. Tel Aviv announced the ceasefire plan shortly after 10pm local time, leaving hours to go until it formally takes effect.
In the wake of the announcement there are widespread reports that rocket fire has resumed toward Israeli communities near the border north of the Gaza Strip.