Gaza: Israel has accepted a truce proposed by Egypt
Israel and Palestinian activists have agreed to a truce in the Gaza Strip starting Sunday evening as proposed by Egyptian mediators, sources said, after three days of clashes. According to an Egyptian source, the Jewish state accepted Cairo’s proposal while a Palestinian official said a ceasefire would start at 19:00 GMT.
Spokesmen for Israel and Islamic Jihad did not confirm the information, saying only that they were in contact with Egyptian mediators.
Read alsoGaza: the human toll rises, rockets fired towards Jerusalem
31 Palestinians dead
The clashes of recent days have raised fears of a new escalation of violence in the Palestinian enclave, which has experienced several wars. Several powers have called for restraint. The escalation is contained for the moment, as Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, has not joined the fighting. Gaza authorities said 31 Palestinians, at least a third of them civilians, have been killed since Israel launched its offensive against Gaza on Friday.
An Egyptian source had previously indicated that a truce would come into force from 21:00 GMT this Sunday.
On Sunday morning, the Islamic Jihad fired Palestinian rockets towards the city of Jerusalem in retaliation for the death of Khaled Mansour, the commander of the armed group for the southern zone of Gaza, killed overnight by Israeli strikes. “The blood of the martyrs will not be lost,” Islamic Jihad said.
Many Israelis, for their part, have taken refuge in shelters to protect themselves from the volleys of rockets fired from Gaza.
The Jewish State, which launched its offensive against the Palestinian enclave due to fear of reprisals following the arrest on Monday in the West Bank of a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad, did not regret any casualties thanks to its “Iron Dome” air defense system, which, according to the army, destroyed 97% of the rockets fired. Israel had said earlier in the day that the army would cease its strikes if Islamic Jihad, for its part, stops its rocket fire. “Calm will be answered with calm,” an Israeli army spokesman said.
According to the Israeli Minister of Justice, Gideon Saar, the continuation of the strikes on Gaza were the consequence of the rocket fire on Israel.
“Who wants a war? Person. But we also don’t like to be silent when women, children and leaders are killed,” says Abu Mohammad, a taxi driver in Gaza. “An eye for an eye.”
The Israeli military announced on Saturday the arrest of 19 members of the Islamic Jihad in raids carried out in the West Bank.
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