A ceasefire with Israel is widely respected on Saturday in the Gaza Strip, following an escalation of violence that claimed the lives of four Palestinians and one Israeli soldier.
Israel has not confirmed the ceasefire agreement, which came into effect shortly after midnight, but bombing of Gaza has stopped, and no Palestinian rocket fire to Israel has been reported, according to Israeli sources. Palestinian.
The Israeli army, however, said it fired back Saturday morning, by firing a tank at a Hamas military post, into an attempt to infiltrate Israel from the northern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported.
“Thanks to the efforts of Egypt and the United Nations, we have reached (agreement) to return to calm, between the occupying (Israeli) and the Palestinian factions,” said a spokesman for the night. Hamas, Fawzi Barhoum.
Last week, after a major confrontation between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement had already announced a ceasefire negotiated by Egypt. Israel had also refused to confirm the agreement, while putting an end to its attacks.
According to Israeli radio, the Israeli government does not want to give the impression that it is negotiating with Hamas, although indirect talks are taking place through Egypt and the UN.
Another Hamas official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP on Saturday that the new agreement includes “the cessation of all forms of military escalation”, such as Israeli bombing or rocket fire from the country. Hamas.
On the other hand, the official pointed out that the incendiary kites and balloons, thrown from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory and having set fire to more than 2,600 hectares in recent weeks, were not included in the agreement.
But Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has increased the threat of a major operation in recent days if Hamas does not stop the launch of these incendiary devices.
On Friday evening, shortly before the announcement of the ceasefire by Hamas, Lieberman said he had spoken with UN Special Envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov who called Israel and Hamas to the restraint.
“Everyone in the Gaza Strip must move away from the precipice. Not next week. Not tomorrow. IMMEDIATELY, “Mladenov wrote on Twitter.
On Saturday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “urged Hamas and Palestinian militants to stop firing rockets and launching incendiary balloons and no longer provoking them along the line. separation “between Israel and the Gaza Strip. “And Israel must show restraint to avoid igniting the situation.”
On Friday, two Palestinians were killed near Khan Younis, in the south of the enclave, by Israeli strikes against a Hamas observation post, according to the Gazan Ministry of Health. A third was killed in a bombing raid in Rafah and a fourth was shot by Israeli soldiers near the border area east of Gaza City, the source said.
The Israeli army on Friday announced the death of one of its soldiers, shot dead by Palestinian gunfire along the border. This is the first Israeli soldier killed near Gaza since the war that pitted Israel in 2014 against Hamas, in power in Gaza.
The situation in Gaza has been particularly volatile since the beginning of a Palestinian protest movement on the border with the Jewish state on 30 March to protest the Israeli blockade of the territory. At least 149 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army in Gaza since then.
This Palestinian enclave, wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean, has been subjected to a strict land, sea and air blockade imposed by Israel for more than a decade.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense has suspended oil and gas deliveries via Kerem Shalom until Sunday, the only crossing point for goods between Israel and the Palestinian enclave.
Last week, Israel announced the closure of this crossing point for a number of goods, with Hamas denouncing a “crime against humanity”.
Israel has also reduced the sea area open to fishermen in Gaza.
The strengthening of the blockade is intensifying pressure on Hamas in a territory where some 80 percent of the two million people depend on aid, according to the World Bank.
Mosha Lyfta was born and raised in Flint. Mosha has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Detroit Tribunes in the Times-Journal. As a journalist for PR News Globe, Mosha covers national and international developments.