Joe Biden
Joe Biden REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

US President Joe Biden on Sunday night welcomed the ceasefire between Israel and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, which went into effect at 11:30 p.m. Israel time.

“I welcome the announcement tonight of a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza-based militants after three days of hostilities,” Biden said in a statement.

“Over these last 72-hours, the United States has worked with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, and others throughout the region to encourage a swift resolution to the conflict. I thank President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and the senior Egyptian officials who played a central role in this diplomacy as well as Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar and his team for helping to bring these hostilities to an end,” he added.

“My support for Israel’s security is long-standing and unwavering—including its right to defend itself against attacks. Over these recent days, Israel has defended its people from indiscriminate rocket attacks launched by the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the United States is proud of our support for Israel’s Iron-Dome, which intercepted hundreds of rockets and saved countless lives. I commend Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his government’s steady leadership throughout the crisis,” stressed Biden.

“The reports of civilian casualties in Gaza are a tragedy, whether by Israeli strikes against Islamic Jihad positions or the dozens of Islamic Jihad rockets that reportedly fell inside Gaza. My Administration supports a timely and thorough investigation into all of these reports, and we also call on all parties to fully implement the ceasefire, and to ensure fuel and humanitarian supplies are flowing into Gaza as the fighting subsides,” he continued.

“As I made clear during my recent trip to Israel and the West Bank, Israelis and Palestinians both deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy. My Administration will remain engaged with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to support that vision and to implement the initiatives launched during my visit to improve the quality of life for Palestinians and Israelis alike,” concluded Biden.

The Head of the National Public Diplomacy Directorate confirmed on Sunday evening that a ceasefire will take effect at 11:30 p.m.

"The State of Israel thanks Egypt for its efforts. If the ceasefire is violated, the State of Israel maintains the right to respond strongly. We will not allow any disruption to the lives of the citizens of the State of Israel," he added.

Before the ceasefire came into force, a heavy barrage of rocket fire began towards areas near the Gaza border. In response, an IDF unmanned aerial vehicle attacked a rocket launcher belonging to the Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

On Saturday night, the US State Department published an official statement supporting Israel amid the turmoil in the south and Operation Breaking Dawn.

"The United States fully supports Israel's right to defend itself. We are urging all sides to avoid further escalation" the statement said.

"Details of this event are still emerging and we are monitoring developments. We are aware of reports that civilians have been killed and wounded in Gaza, including the reports of a tragic death of a child."

"We have been in touch with Israeli officials and others in the region working to avoid further escalation. We are not going to get into the details of our sensitive diplomatic discussions", the statement concluded.

On Friday, US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides commented on Operation Breaking Dawn.

“The United States firmly believes that Israel has a right to protect itself. We are engaging with different parties and urge all sides for calm,” he tweeted.