Gaza: Ceasefire reached after night of escalation

PNN/ Gaza/

The Palestinian resistance movements in Gaza on Wednesday said they had reached a cease-fire with Israel through Egyptian mediators, following a night of escalation on the Gaza strip and the settlements in its enclave.

Senior Hamas official, Khalil Al-Hayya said Egyptian mediators intervened “after the resistance succeeded in warding off the aggression,” saying militant groups in Gaza will commit to the cease-fire as long as Israel does.

Israeli Cabinet minister Naftali Bennett told Israel’s Army Radio no agreement had been reached yet. Shortly later, Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Israeli sources as saying Israel would stop attacks on Hamas and Islamic Jihad if the two groups stopped firing rockets at settlements and towns in the Gaza Strip enclave and southern Israel.

Israel on Wednesday night continued to escalate attacks on dozens of Palestinian sites, while the resistance factions responded by firing rockets in the largest confrontation between the two since the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip in 2014, which killed over 2,000 Palestinians.

Local sources in the Gaza Strip said that Israeli air force launched dozens of attacks on Wednesday at the sites of the resistance movements, who responded by firing  rounds of rockets at settlements in the Gaza envelope and Israeli towns deep in the south, making sirens go off.

According to sources in the Gaza Strip, Israel shelled high sites in Deir al-Balah, naval sites, sites north of Khan Younis and sites in the Zaytoun neighborhood, where intense explosions were heard.

The Israeli army deployed tanks on the eastern and southern borders of the Gaza Strip.

This comes in response to a barrage of 28 mortar shells reportedly fired from Gaza towards Israeli settlements on Tuesday morning, most of which were intercepted by the iron dome, in revenge for the killing of three Hamas members last week in an artillery shelling.

Immediately following the shelling, Netanyahu said he would respond with “great force” while minister of army, Avigdor Lieberman said he will “burn Gaza.”

This shelling is the first of its kind since the start of the Great Return Marches on 30 March.Since then, Over 117 Gazans were killed by Israeli fire.