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ConflictsMiddle East

UN Security Council calls for adherence to Gaza cease-fire

May 22, 2021

The UN Security Council urged aid for Gaza in its first statement on the most recent Israel-Hamas conflict. The truce seemed to be holding as rallies across Israel called for peace and Hamas militants paraded Gaza.

A horse-drawn cart is pulled past an excavator to assist in reclaiming valuable materials from a debris pile of a building destroyed by an airstrike prior to a cease-fire.
The cease-fire came into effect early FridayImage: John Minchillo/AP Photo/picture alliance

The United Nations Security Council on Saturday called for "the full adherence" to a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

The 15-member council reached the required full consensus to issue an official statement after earlier attempts at a shared declaration were blocked by the United States during the 11-day conflict.

Security Council members said in their statement that they "welcomed the announcement of a cease-fire beginning May 21 and recognized the important role Egypt, other regional countries" played in achieving the truce. 

The statement also stressed "the immediate need for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in Gaza."

Egyptian mediators were in Israel and Palestinian territories to continue talks on firming up the cease-fire deal and securing long-term calm.

What is the situation in Gaza?

As the cease-fire appeared to be holding, people in Gaza were cleaning up shops and businesses while displaced families were returning home, DW correspondent Tania Krämer said.

Some of the initial assessments of what was damaged in Gaza were still underway, Krämer added. 

Dozens of Hamas fighters wearing military camouflage paraded past the mourning tent for Bassem Issa, a senior commander killed in the fighting.

Yehiyeh Sinwar, the top Hamas leader in Gaza, paid his respects in his first public appearance since the fighting began.

Israel had bombed the house of Sinwar as part of its attack on what it said was the group's military infrastructure.

Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz has said top Hamas figures remained targets.

Palestinian Hamas militants take part in an anti-Israel rally in Gaza.
Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007Image: Mohammed Salem/REUTERS

Rallies calling for peace in Israel

Thousands of people rallied in Tel Aviv, calling for coexistence between Jews and Arabs, the Associated Press reported. 

"There are two peoples here. Both deserve the right to self-determination," Ayman Odeh, the leader of the main Arab party in parliament, told crowds in Tel Aviv.

The AP news agency quoted Israeli author David Grossman as saying that "the battle today is not between Arabs and Jews, but between those on both sides who strive to live in peace and in a fair partnership, and those on both sides who are fed by hatred and violence.''

Relief in Gaza and Israel, damaged trust in mixed cities

Several marches were held across Israel to call for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the Jerusalem Post reported.

According to the paper, hundreds have also gathered outside the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, calling on Benjamin Netanyahu to resign and blaming him for the escalation in Gaza.

Earlier in Jerusalem, police reportedly arrested nine after clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security.  

Police took five Palestinians into custody in east Jerusalem and the Old City, and four other Palestinians near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa, citing witnesses. 

The unrest came a day after clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. 

fb/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters)