Hamas on Saturday announced it has accepted a ceasefire deal in the contested Gaza Strip after fighting on Friday left four Palestinians and one Israeli soldier dead. The temporary peace was brokered by officials from Egypt and the United Nations.
Israel has yet to confirm its acceptance of the agreement, but the Israeli military said in a statement Saturday it has "decided to maintain a full civilian routine in the communities close to the Gaza Strip," suggesting a cessation in hostilities. Nevertheless, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also reported an Israeli tank targeted a Hamas outpost Saturday morning after "a number of suspects" allegedly crossed a border fence into Israel for a brief time.
This is the second ceasefire in a week, punctuating the worst conflict in Gaza since 2014. Palestinians have been protesting at the Gaza border fence since March, and about 140 Palestinians — including protesters, militants, and medical workers — have been killed in that span. Thousands more have been wounded, including journalists. One IDF soldier has been killed and 10 Israelis injured. Bonnie Kristian
Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime says it agrees with the cease-fire deal reached between the United States and Russia early Saturday morning. "The Syrian government has approved the agreement, and a cessation of hostilities will begin in Aleppo for humanitarian reasons," said Syria's state-run media outlet, SANA. The report cited "informed sources" and applauded the deal's goal of "reaching the necessary political solutions for Syria."
The truce has also been welcomed by the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Turkey, as well as Syria's primary opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition. "We in the Syrian National Coalition are always with any initiative or agreement that aims to protect civilians and end the suffering of the people [especially] in besieged areas," said the group's president, Anas Abdah.
A cease-fire will begin Monday at sundown, permitting much-needed humanitarian aid to make its way into Syria's devastated cities. After a week, American and Russian forces will begin cooperating to target Islamic State and al Qaeda militants in Syria. Bonnie Kristian