Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire on Friday but Israeli police clashed with Palestinians in Jerusalem just hours after the agreement, The Associated Press reports.
The two sides reached a truce after 11 days of fighting killed at least 243 Palestinians, including 66 children, and injured at least 1,910 others as well as 12 Israelis including a young child.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faced mounting pressure from the international community to end the airstrikes, vowed to respond with a “new level of force” if Hamas renews its rocket attacks.
“If Hamas thinks we will tolerate a drizzle of rockets, it is wrong,” he said.
Netanyahu defended his response to Hamas’ attacks, which followed clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in Jerusalem. He claimed that Israeli fighters caused “maximum damage to Hamas with a minimum of casualties in Israel” despite the death toll.
Israel claimed that more than 200 of those killed were militants.
Renewed clashes in Jerusalem:
Just hours after the agreement, Israeli police clashed with Palestinian protesters and fired stun grenades and tear gas near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a sacred holy site where police clashed with Palestinians opposed to forced removals of families from their homes in East Jerusalem prior to the fighting.
It’s unclear what prompted the new clashes.
Protesters also clashed with police in the occupied West Bank.
But Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere largely celebrated the ceasefire Friday night.
“Life will return, because this is not the first war, and it will not be the last war,” Gaza shop owner Ashraf Abu Mohammad told the AP. “The heart is in pain, there have been disasters, families wiped from the civil registry, and this saddens us. But this is our fate in this land, to remain patient.”
Both sides claim wins in victor-less war:
Israel touted its damage to Hamas’ organization and underground tunnel network, though its aggressive show of force failed to halt Hamas’ rocket attacks.
Hamas also claimed victory after the truce, but faces a daunting recovery effort after Israeli strikes destroyed hundreds of businesses and homes, displacing tens of thousands of Palestinians and leaving nearly 800,000 without access to clean drinking water.
The territory already faced challenges caused by the coronavirus, the Israeli blockade, and high unemployment.