People take to the streets to celebrate following a ceasefire brokered by Egypt between Israel and the ruling Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip, in Gaza City early on May 21, 2021. Photograph:( AFP )
Celebrations were heard on Gaza streets in the minutes after the truce began as cars honked horns and some guns were fired in the air
Israel and Hamas brought to an end a violent 11 days of back-and-forth aerial warfare after the two sides agreed upon a mutual ceasefire brokered by Egypt.
With no alerts sounding in Israel to warn of incoming Hamas rockets, calm reigned across much of the Jewish state.
Also read | Ceasefire between Israel and Hamas takes effect after 11-day conflict leaves hundreds dead
Residents on both sides of the conflict voiced relief that a ceasefire had taken effect.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced Friday it is removing nearly all restrictions on movement throughout the country, including Gaza border communities, reported the Times of Israel.
The army said schools and other educational institutions will remain closed in southern and central Israel.
"We ask that you be careful around rocket fragments in open areas," it said.
This aerial view taken on May 21, 2021, shows the Al-Shorooq building in Gaza City, that was levelled by an Israeli air strike during the recent military conflict between Israel and the Palestinian enclave ruled by Hamas, after a ceasefire brokered by Egypt. (AFP Photo)
Celebrations were heard on Gaza streets in the minutes after the truce began as cars honked their horns and some guns were fired in the air, while in the occupied West Bank, joyful crowds also took to the streets.
"It's a good decision to be honest with you because people from both sides are done with what's going on," said Amwrah Dana, a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem.
In Tel Aviv, Avital Fast said he wanted to be optimistic about the ceasefire. "I hope that it will remain because the only thing that we want here is to live our life without any alarms or fire."
The truce brokered by Egypt, which also included Gaza's second-most powerful armed group, Islamic Jihad, was agreed upon following mounting international pressure to stem the bloodshed which erupted on May 10.
(With inputs from agencies)