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Israel and Palestinian militants declare Gaza truce

Late Sunday night, The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group and Israel reached a truce, finally raising hope and ending the three days of chaos that ensued on the Gaza frontier in more than a year. 

Israel and Palestinian militants declare Gaza truce

This past weekend, bedlam broke out when Israeli forces bombarded Palestinian areas with missile strikes. The actions taken by Israel sparked missile strikes on Israeli cities that had mostly subsided by the time the ceasefire went into effect at 23:30. (20:30 GMT).

On Friday, Israel began what it referred to as pre-emptive strikes against what it believed would be an attack by the Islamic Jihad attack intended to exact revenge for the detention of the group’s commander, Bassam al-Saadi, in the occupied West Bank.

Firing back, the Islamic Jihad fired hundreds of rockets at Israel. At a news conference in Tehran, the group’s leader Ziyad al-Nakhala said Cairo would “work to secure the release” of al-Saadi. 

Neither Israel nor mediating Egypt responded to the Jihad leader’s reassurance.

By Sunday, Israel announced that it had killed a senior Islamic Jihad commander, Khaled Mansour, in a crowded Gaza refugee camp while he was in an apartment building in the Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza late Saturday.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said that during the three days of conflict, 44 Palestinians—including 15 children and four women—were murdered, and 311 others were injured. Twelve of those killed, according to Islamic Jihad, were terrorists. 

Israel said that some fatalities were caused by stray rocket fire from Gaza before confidently claiming that no Israeli citizens got killed. Residents in places like Tel Aviv and Ashkelon were also urged to seek cover for protection from the rocket attacks, which endangered much of southern Israel.

Israel’s sophisticated Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted many of the rockets launched at the nation.

The three-day climax of the conflict simmered when Egypt stepped in and offered to mediate. Two top members of the Islamic Jihad were said to be released from Israeli custody as part of the ceasefire agreement, but no guarantees would occur. 

The violence over the weekend was also going to make things more difficult for Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Comparatively speaking to Hamas, Islamic Jihad has fewer militants and followers, and less is known about its arrangements. Both organizations support the destruction of Israel, but they have distinct goals; the requirements of the government restrict Hamas.

Both parties bragged about their victories. Ziad al-Nakhalah, the leader of Islamic Jihad, told reporters on Sunday in Tehran that the militant group was still powerful despite losing two of its commanders. He declared, “This is a win for Islamic Jihad,” beyond losing its two leaders, the group had reduced its arsenal by firing hundreds of rockets.

Israel began to reopen crossings into Gaza for humanitarian needs on Monday and said it would fully open them if calm is maintained. But Israeli troops seem to have overstepped by demolishing the homes of two Palestinians. The men are suspected of conducting a deadly attack against Israelis in Elad in May. The military called out protestors by claiming that the soldiers faced a violent protest during the operation.

The U.N. held an emergency meeting on Monday to stop the blood of war. In a statement released, U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, said: “We underscore our commitment to do all we can towards ending the ongoing escalation, ensuring the safety and security of the civilian population, and following-up on the Palestinian prisoner’s file.”


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