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Palestinian factions thank Egypt for Gaza ceasefire

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the two factions praised Egypt's role in striking the ceasefire deal that have led to the opening of Gaza's crossings. The two groups went on to underline the depth of relations between the Palestinian and Egyptian peoples. An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip went into effect at 07:00pm local time on Tuesday. The ceasefire deal includes the opening of all border crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel, which would effectively signal the end of Israel's years-long embargo of the coastal enclave. For the past eight weeks, Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip with the declared aim of halting rocket fire from the Palestinian territory. Since hostilities first erupted on June 7, at least 2143 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and nearly 11,000 injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Thousands of homes, meanwhile, have been partially or completely destroyed by devastating Israeli bombardments. Over the same period, at least 69 Israelis – 64 soldiers and five civilians – have been killed, according to Israeli figures. The number of Palestinian fatalities from Israel's current offensive has now surpassed the combined death toll from two previous operations against Gaza, including Israel's bloody "Operation Cast Lead" in 2008/09 in which at least 1500 Palestinians were killed over the course of three weeks.

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