Israel, Hamas may reach cease-fire soon, officials say

A cease-fire in the fighting between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas could come as early as Friday, according to people involved in the discussions, as pressure mounts from Washington and other foreign capitals to bring an end to airstrikes and rocket fire that have claimed a rising number of civilian casualties, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Israel, Hamas may reach cease-fire soon, officials say

Israel, Hamas may reach cease-fire soon, officials say

STEPANAKERT, MAY 20, ARTSAKHPRESS:  Egyptian officials have made headway in negotiations with Hamas’s leadership, and the Israeli military has privately conceded that it is nearing the completion of its objectives, U.S. and foreign officials said. The Biden administration anticipates that a cease-fire could come this week, barring any unforeseen clashes that might topple the fragile discussions, according to a U.S. official.

The U.S., along with Egypt, Qatar and several European nations, has been working to pressure both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Since the fighting began on May 10, Palestinian health officials say 228 people have been killed in aerial bombardments that have worsened Gaza's already dire humanitarian situation, according to Reuters.

Israeli authorities put the death toll to date at 12 in Israel, where repeated rocket attacks have caused panic and sent people rushing into shelters.