Ceasefire deal reached between Hamas and Israel after escalation in Gaza tensions

07 May, 2019, 03:41 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Children participate in an air raid siren exercise

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two largest militant groups in Gaza, confirmed that a cease-fire was in place as of 4:30 a.m. local time.

Basem Naim, a Hamas official, said that made it a particularly good time to pressure Israel, with its independence day celebrations also held this week.

More than 600 rockets were fired into Israel over the weekend, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

At least 23 people were killed in Gaza, including two infants and two pregnant women, in the exchanges that began Friday, while four people were killed in Israel by rockets. Militant factions said at least nine of the dead were their fighters, with eight of them from the Islamic Jihad, according to the group.

Diplomatic attempts to bring an end to the fighting continued throughout the weekend, including "very intense" mediation efforts by Egypt and the United Nations, a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations told CNN. Israel faced pressure to restore calm and put an end to the rocket fire hitting communities in the country's southern region.

On the Gazan side, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began on Monday.

In total, 19 Palestinians were killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza on Sunday, the enclave´s health ministry said.

The measures included extending Gaza's fishing zone, allowing global and Arab investment and job creation projects, improving electricity supply and broadening the amount and variety of goods moved into the enclave through Israel.

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Israeli bombings in Gaza destroyed four multi-storey structures.

Israel struck back hitting some 350 terror targets including a terrorist responsible for transferring Iranian funds to groups inside Gaza. Israel says four of its civilians were killed.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he instructed the military "to continue its massive strikes on terror elements in the Gaza Strip".

Without it, "the arena could face many rounds of confrontation", he said.

A 50-year-old Israeli man was killed in a factory in Ashkelon, and a 67-year-old Israeli man succumbed to his injuries after an antitank missile hit his auto.

Numerous rockets fell in open areas and more than 150 were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome. Israel withdrew. Gaza's Palestinian leaders then burned synagogues and greenhouses full of food.

Conricus said Israeli targets included weapons storage facilities in the homes of militants, attack tunnels, and military headquarters.

Israel's energy ministry said on Monday that the Tamar gas field would resume operations after the ceasefire was agreed, and that energy minister Steinitz had instructed Noble Energy, the Texas-based operator of the field, to prepare to restart pumping natural gas. One theory, though it lacks evidence, is that Iran sent Islamic Jihad to escalate the situation, fueled by Iran's displeasure with Hamas striking deals with Israel.

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