As ceasefire appears to hold, IDF says emergency restrictions to be removed

Military says update will be published in coming hours * No rockets or Israeli strikes reported since 2 a.m. * Officials say truce doesn’t include any conditions

  • Students take their highschool exams inside a bomb shelter in the central Israeli village of Tzafria, May 20, 2021, amid rocket barrages from Hamas in Gaza and IDF counterstrikes. (Photo by Gil COHEN-MAGEN / AFP)
    Students take their highschool exams inside a bomb shelter in the central Israeli village of Tzafria, May 20, 2021, amid rocket barrages from Hamas in Gaza and IDF counterstrikes. (Photo by Gil COHEN-MAGEN / AFP)
  • German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi visit a building that was hit by Hamas rocket fire from Gaza, on May 20, 2021, in Petah Tikva. (Foreign Ministry)
    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi visit a building that was hit by Hamas rocket fire from Gaza, on May 20, 2021, in Petah Tikva. (Foreign Ministry)
  • Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan addresses the General Assembly on May 20, 2021. (Screen capture/UN)
    Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan addresses the General Assembly on May 20, 2021. (Screen capture/UN)
  • A home hit by a rocket fired from Gaza in the city of Ashkelon, May 20, 2021 (Magen David Adom)
    A home hit by a rocket fired from Gaza in the city of Ashkelon, May 20, 2021 (Magen David Adom)
  • Palestinians pass by the rubble of a destroyed building in Gaza City, May 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
    Palestinians pass by the rubble of a destroyed building in Gaza City, May 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

The Times of Israel is liveblogging Friday’s events as they unfold. For a recap of Thursday’s news, click here.

Sister of slain IDF soldier Goldin outraged truce doesn’t include release of captives

Ayelet Kaufman, the sister of slain IDF soldier Hadar Goldin whose body is believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza, decries the fact that the ceasefire doesn’t include the return of her brother’s remains and other captives.

“We have been waiting seven years for a phone call that should have come at 2 a.m.,” she tells Army Radio, referring to the time when the truce entered effect.

“They didn’t talk to us, they didn’t even say ‘we tried,’” Kaufman laments, saying the country’s leaders are “unworthy.”

“I feel like we have lost it, that the truth has come out — the emperor doesn’t have any clothes.”

Officials say ceasefire has no conditions regarding Jerusalem

Army Radio cites unnamed officials involved in the negotiations for an Israel-Hamas ceasefire as saying the truce that entered effect at 2 a.m. has no conditions.

The report comes after the terror group reportedly had demanded that any truce include Israeli concessions in Jerusalem regarding the Temple Mount and/or planned evictions in Sheikh Jarrah.

The officials add that Egyptian mediators will arrive in the coming days to try and lower tensions in Jerusalem.

IDF says restrictions on daily life likely to be removed in coming hours

IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman says that in the coming hours, the IDF Home Front Command is expected to remove some of its restrictions on daily life in southern and central Israel, some of which have been in place since the outbreak of fighting on May 10.

However, the IDF ground troops and other reinforcements deployed to the Gaza border will largely remain in place over the weekend, Zilberman says.

IDF says it warned Hamas not to fire major barrage ahead of ceasefire

Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman says that before the ceasefire went into effect at 2 a.m., the military passed a message to Hamas that if it conducted a large-scale rocket attack by Hamas on central Israel, the IDF would retaliate with a massive airstrike on dozens of targets.

According to Zilberman, Israeli jets and other aircraft were kept in the air, hovering over Gaza in the hours before the ceasefire to carry out this threat if necessary.

“But we didn’t need to fulfill our plans. There was no final barrage,” Zilberman says.

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