S'pore welcomes mutual ceasefire between Israel & Hamas, urges end to 'cycle of violence': MFA

MFA also urged both sides to fully comply with the ceasefire to prevent the further loss of civilian lives.

Kayla Wong | May 21, 2021, 05:57 PM

Singapore welcomes the mutual ceasefire that was announced earlier on Friday, May 21, by the Israeli government and Hamas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement issued later on the same day.

Urges both sides to comply with ceasefire

MFA also urged all sides to comply fully with the ceasefire so as to "break the cycle of violence and avoid any further loss of civilian lives".

In addition, the ministry wants to convey their "deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their loved ones on both sides and wish a full recovery for those who have been injured".

MFA added that in response to the humanitarian situation in Gaza, the Singapore government will donate US$100,000 (S$133,056) as seed money for the Singapore Red Cross to launch a public appeal for cash donations to provide immediate relief supplies.

"We call on all relevant parties to facilitate the swift and unhindered delivery of humanitarian relief to the civilian populations that have been affected," it said.

The Israeli state and the Islamist militant group Hamas had agreed to a truce, which was brokered by Egypt, amid mounting international pressure to end the attacks.

According to the health ministry in Gaza, at least 232 people, including more than 100 children and women, have been killed in the Strip so far, the BBC reported.

On the other hand, 12 people, including two children, have been killed in Israel.

Background

The 11-day conflict had erupted on May 10 after weeks of tensions in occupied East Jerusalem over threats to evict 13 Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighbourhood, leading to protests against it.

Israeli police then launched a crackdown on protesters, storming the Al Aqsa mosque with tear gas and stun grenades during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Hamas proceeded to issue an ultimatum to Israel to remove its forces from the Al Aqsa compound and Sheikh Jarrah, and launched rockets at Jerusalem.

The United Nations Commission for Human Rights has called the forceful evictions of Palestinians in the territory Israel occupies to make way for Israeli-Jewish settlers a potential "war crime".

The Israeli Foreign Ministry, however, has called it a “real estate dispute between private parties”.

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