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Israel-Palestine conflict: Cease-fire may loom. What do we know right now?

International pressure is building for a ceasefire in the next day, but Israeli airstrikes continue to pound the Gaza strip

People inspect the rubble of destroyed residential building which was hit by Israeli airstrikes, in Gaza City.
People inspect the rubble of destroyed residential building which was hit by Israeli airstrikes, in Gaza City, Thursday, May 20, 2021.
Associated Press

Israel and Palestine entered their 11th day of fighting in the worst conflict between Israel and Hamas since the 2014 Gaza War. After days of stalled truce talks, officials from Hamas and Egypt signal that a cease-fire may be imminent, reported The Associated Press and CNN.

  • While officials spoke of a cease-fire, Israel continued to bomb Gaza, said the AP.

The days before and after a cease-fire come with increased fragility and heightened uncertainty, said The New York Times. Airstrikes and rockets continue firing from both sides Wednesday night into Thursday morning as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens.

Cease-fire may come within the next 24 hours

As of Thursday, officials on both sides say a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas could come very soon.

  • Egyptian officials told the AP that a cease-fire is likely to come late Thursday or early Friday now that U.S. appeals have backed Egyptian efforts.
  • Hamas officials told CNN that a cease-fire could be “imminent.”
  • Israeli officials told The New York Times that a cease-fire may come within the next two days.

However, these reports have been mixed with Israel officially denying the existence of negotiations.

According to The New York Times, the agreement would include an end to Israeli attacks on Hamas forces and Hamas rocket fire at Israel. However, previous cease-fire agreements between Hamas and Israel have failed to resolve underlying conflicts, leading to continued fighting. During the 2014 Gaza War, Hamas and Israel agreed to nine different truces before the conflict finally ended.

The worst conflict since 2014

Israeli Defense Forces have fired over 1,800 airstrikes at Gaza, targeting 1,000 different sites that Israel claims have military value, according to CNN. Hamas forces have fired 4,000 rockets at Israel, 90% of the rockets have been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and at least 550 have fallen short, landing in Gaza. Still, according to the AP and CNN, Gaza has suffered most of the destruction.

  • The nonprofit Save the Children reported that Israeli bombing has damaged 50 schools in Gaza, destroying six completely and disrupting classes for 42,000 students.
  • According to CNN, about 72,000 Palestinians have been internally displaced.
  • The Israeli airstrike campaign has caused $323 million dollars of damage in Gaza, the Hamas Ministry of Information told CNN.
  • Twelve Israelis, including two children, have been killed in the conflict, CNN reports.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza has grown dire. According to The New York Times, later stages of a truce would include Israel allowing passage of goods and humanitarian aid into Gaza. This is currently being discussed but no cease-fire has come.