Just minutes before the scheduled start of the ceasefire, The Times of Israel reported new Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, as well as sirens sounding in Israel, signifying new rocket attacks from Gaza. The army later confirmed that two rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel. One was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, the other landed in an open area and did not cause any damage.
Egypt, which brokered the ceasefire, called on both sides to abide by the ceasefire agreement. “A ceasefire between the Palestinian and Israeli sides has been reached,” reads the text of the agreement, quoted by Reuters. “Both sides will abide by the ceasefire, which includes an end to attacks on civilians and house demolitions,” the text reads.
According to world agencies, the spokesman of the radical Islamic Jihad movement also confirmed that the ceasefire had been reached. “We declare that we accept the Egyptian announcement and will abide by it as long as the occupier (Israel) abides by it,” the spokesman said.
“We will respond to silence with silence”
Israel made a similar statement. The head of the National Security Council, Cachi Hanegbi, confirmed that Israel had agreed to the ceasefire proposed by Egypt. At the same time, Hanegbi thanked Egypt for their “active efforts” to negotiate an end to the fighting. As he added, “We will respond to silence with silence, but when Israel is attacked and threatened, it will do whatever it takes to defend itself.”
Israel launched Operation Shield and Arrow on Tuesday, targeting Islamic Jihad infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Since the start of the operation, the Israeli army has killed six top commanders of the movement.
Islamic Jihad, the largest armed group in Gaza after the ruling Islamist Hamas, fired more than a thousand rockets in five days, some of them deep into Israeli territory. On Thursday, a woman died in an attack on an apartment in the suburbs of Tel Aviv.
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