A fragile ceasefire deal to end nearly three days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza that lasted throughout the night and into Monday morning – a sign the latest round of violence may have eased.
The flare-up marked the worst fighting between Israel and Gaza militant groups since Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers waged an 11-day war last year, adding to the destruction and misery that has plagued the blockaded Gaza Strip for years .
Since Friday, Israeli planes had hit targets in Gaza, while the Iran-backed Palestinian jihadist group fired hundreds of rockets at Israel.
In three days of fighting, 43 Palestinians were killed, including 15 children and four women, and 311 wounded, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. Israel said some of the dead were killed by misfired rockets.
Israel said Monday it would partially reopen crossings into Gaza for humanitarian purposes and open them fully if calm is maintained.
The lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis were shattered during the violence. The security measures imposed on residents of southern Israel in recent days would be gradually lifted on Monday, the military said.
The violence had threatened to turn into another all-out war, but was eventually contained because the ruling Hamas group in Gaza has remained on the sidelines, possibly fearing Israeli reprisals and squashing economic agreements with Israel, including Israeli work permits for Thousands of Gaza residents. who strengthen their control over the coastal strip.
Israel and Hamas have fought four wars since the group overran the territory in 2007.
Israel launched its operation on Friday with a strike against an Islamic Jihad leader and said there were “specific threats” of an anti-tank missile attack against Israelis in response to the arrest of another senior Islamic Jihad member in the West Bank last week. This arrest comes after months of Israeli raids in the West Bank to round up suspects following a spate of Palestinian attacks on Israel.
It killed another Islamic Jihad leader in a strike on Saturday.
Israel said some of the deaths during this round were caused by misguided rocket fire, including an incident at the Jebaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza that killed six Palestinians on Saturday. On Sunday, a projectile hit a house in the same area of Jebaliya, killing two men. The Palestinians blamed Israel, while Israel said it was investigating whether the area was hit by a misguided missile.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces on Monday demolished the homes of two Palestinians suspected of carrying out a deadly attack on Israelis in the city of Elad in May. The soldiers were exposed to violent protests during the mission, the military said.
The eruption of violence in Gaza was a crucial test for Israel’s acting Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who lacks experience directing military operations. Still, he unleashed the offensive less than three months before a general election in which he is fighting to retain the post.
President Joe Biden said he welcomes the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza-based militants.
“Over the past 72 hours, the United States has worked with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan and others across the region to promote an expeditious resolution to the conflict,” he said in a statement Sunday.
The UN Security Council was due to hold an emergency meeting Monday on the violence. China, which holds the Council Presidency this month, called the meeting in response to a request from the United Arab Emirates, which represents Arab nations on the Council, as well as China, France, Ireland and Norway.
“We underscore our commitment to doing everything in our power to end the ongoing escalation, ensure the safety of civilians and follow up on the files of Palestinian prisoners,” said Tor Wennesland, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, in an opinion.
The Israeli army said militants in Gaza fired about 580 rockets at Israel. The army said its air defenses intercepted many of them, with two of those shot down being shot at Jerusalem. Islamic Jihad has fewer fighters and supporters than Hamas.
Islamic Jihad has fewer fighters and supporters than Hamas, and little is known about its arsenal. Both groups call for Israel’s destruction but have different priorities, with Hamas being constrained by the government’s demands.
Hamas had a strong incentive to avoid another war. Last year’s war between Israel and Hamas, one of four major conflicts, and several smaller battles over the past 15 years have taken a staggering toll on the impoverished area’s 2.3 million Palestinian residents.
Over the past year, Israel and Hamas have reached tacit deals based on trading calm for work permits and a slight easing of the border blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt when Hamas overran the area 15 years ago. Israel has issued 12,000 work permits to Gaza workers and has promised to issue another 2,000 permits.
https://nypost.com/2022/08/08/israel-and-gaza-militants-hold-overnight-cease-fire/ Militants from Israel and Gaza hold a ceasefire overnight