Palestinians see victory in Gaza truce as Israel warns Hamas

Palestinians rallied by the thousands Friday after a cease-fire took effect in the latest Gaza war, with many viewing it as a costly but clear victory for the Islamic militant group Hamas. Israel vowed to respond with a “new level of force” to further hostilities. 

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May 21, 2021 - 12:53 PM

Israeli soldiers patrol Zikim Beach near the border with the Gaza Strip after Israel and Hamas agreed on a ceasefire on May 21, 2021 in Zikim, Israel. Yesterday, Israel's cabinet and Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, agreed on a ceasefire starting in the early hours of this morning. The recent fighting began on May 10th after rising tensions in East Jerusalem. (Amir Levy/Getty Images/TNS)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinians rallied by the thousands Friday after a cease-fire took effect in the latest Gaza war, with many viewing it as a costly but clear victory for the Islamic militant group Hamas. Israel vowed to respond with a “new level of force” to further hostilities. 

The 11-day war left more than 250 dead — the vast majority Palestinians — and brought widespread devastation to the already impoverished Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. But the rocket barrages that brought life to a standstill in much of Israel were seen by many Palestinians as a bold response to perceived Israeli abuses in Jerusalem, the emotional heart of the conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned against further attacks, saying, “If Hamas thinks we will tolerate a drizzle of rockets, it is wrong.” He vowed to respond with “a new level of force” against aggression anywhere in Israel.

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