Gaza truce holds as Israel admits visitors to flashpoint site

Gaza Palestine
A Palestinian child stands amidst the rubble of buildings, destroyed by Israeli strikes, in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip on May 21, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM/GAZA — The Israel-Hamas ceasefire held into a third day on Sunday as Israel admitted Jewish visitors to Al-Aqsa Mosque, where earlier confrontations with Palestinian protesters helped to ignite the cross-border fighting.اضافة اعلان

There were no unusual incidents reported at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex — one of Islam's holiest sites — as Israeli social media accounts showed a few dozen people in religious garb strolling around the site under guard.

A Israeli spokesman described it as a regular scheduled visit after a break that began on May 3 for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Israeli occupation force raids in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan, as well as planned evictions of Palestinians from homes in occupied East Jerusalem, prompted Hamas to fire rockets into Israel on May 10.

That led to the fiercest fighting between Israel and Hamas since the 2014 Israeli aggression on Gaza, which concluded with a truce before dawn on Friday, brokered by Egypt with support from the United States.

Neither side reported violations on Sunday morning.

Egyptian mediators have been shuttling across the Gaza border and met Hamas's West Bank-based rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in an effort to sustain the ceasefire.

Palestinian officials put reconstruction costs at tens of millions of dollars in the Gaza Strip, where medical officials said that 248 people were killed during the 11 days of fighting.

Medics said rocket fire and a guided missile attack killed 13 people in Israel.

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