Tel Aviv [Israel], May 21 (ANI): The Security Cabinet of Israel has approved a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, according to local media reports.
The ceasefire will come into effect from 2 am on Friday (23:00 GMT on Thursday). This comes after the Israeli security cabinet met earlier today to decide on further action in the Gaza Strip.
According to a statement released by the government's press office, the Israeli security cabinet unanimously adopted Egypt's initiative for a bilateral ceasefire, which will take effect later.
"The Security Cabinet unanimously accepted the recommendation of all heads of security services, the chief of general staff, the head of the Shabak, the head of the Mossad and the head of the National Security Council to accept the Egyptian initiative on a bilateral ceasefire, which will come into force later," the statement said.
While welcoming a unilateral ceasefire by Israel, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said it is not enough because Jerusalem remains the key issue.
"...It's good that the Palestinian people, more than 2 million of them, will be able to go to sleep tonight, knowing that they will have a brighter tomorrow, but it's not enough," al-Maliki said, as quoted by Russian news agency Sputnik. "The core issue that started all these episodes is Jerusalem. We cannot forget Jerusalem," he added.
This comes a few hours after the White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday the US believes that Israel has achieved significant objectives in Gaza and can start winding down its military operation.
"We believe the Israelis have achieved significant military objectives that they laid out to achieve in relation to protecting their people and to responding to thousands of rocket attacks from Hamas. That's why in part that we feel they are in a position to start winding their operation down," Psaki said during a daily briefing.
Last week, this new episode of Israeli-Palestinian conflict broke out after the civil unrest in East Jerusalem, prompting hostilities on the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip, with Palestinian militants having launched approximately 3,700 rockets against Israel, which retaliated with airstrikes, Sputnik reported.
Both sides have been firing rockets at each other, leading to 217 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead. (ANI)