Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi on Saturday published a tweet thanking his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry for his “effort and commitment to achieve peace and stability” in the region, following Israel’s and Hamas’ agreement on an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire early Friday morning. Ashkenazi stressed that any future arrangement between Jerusalem and the terror group ruling Gaza “would have to include guarantees regarding security issues and policy principles, especially restoring peace and stability to the residents of southern Israel.” The two agreed to meet soon to continue discussing the issues. Ashkenazi will later this week meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who will tour Israel and neighboring countries after nearly two weeks of deadly fighting in Gaza. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, approximately 280 Gaza residents were killed in Israeli airstrikes, over 100 of them women and children. Israel, on the other hand, insists at least 225 were Hamas combatants directly involved in firing rockets. In Israel, 11 civilians and one soldier were killed as a result of nearly 4,400 missiles launched from Gaza at southern towns and cities.
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