A ceasefire is imminent as Israel takes a toll on Palestinian militants

Israeli and Palestinian extremists Gaza Strip A ceasefire appeared to be headed for Sunday night after Egyptian officials said the two sides had agreed to a truce to end three days of escalating violence that killed dozens of Palestinians.

The ceasefire would end the worst fighting in Gaza since the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas last year. Violence has killed his 43 Palestinians, including 15 children and four of his women, since Friday night.

Egyptian officials said the ceasefire was scheduled to begin at 11:30 p.m. local time (6:30 a.m. AEST). An Egyptian intelligence official said both sides agreed to a ceasefire. He spoke on condition of anonymity due to the delicate nature of ceasefire negotiations.

In Gaza, a ceasefire between Israeli and Palestinian militants is imminent. (AP)

Israeli aircraft have been hitting targets in Gaza since Friday, and Iran-backed Palestinian jihadist militant groups fired hundreds of rockets into Israel in response. The danger of turning into a permanent war remained unless a ceasefire was achieved. Israel says some of the dead were killed by rocket misfires.

Gaza’s ruling Hamas group has remained on the sidelines because it fears Israeli reprisals and canceling economic agreements with Israel, including Israeli work permits for thousands of Gaza residents.

Israel launched its operation on Friday with an attack on an Islamic Jihad leader, and launched another targeted attack on another high-profile leader on Saturday.

A second Islamic Jihad commander, Khaled Mansour, was killed in an airstrike on an apartment building in Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza late Saturday, along with two other militants and five civilians.

Mourners pray next to the bodies of Khaled Mansour, the senior commander of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, and other Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes. (AP)

Mansur, commander of Islamic Jihad in southern Gaza, was in the apartment of a member of the group when the missile struck.

“Suddenly, without warning, the house next door was bombed, and in the blink of an eye everything was black and covered with smoke,” said Wissam Jooda, who lives next door to the targeted building. rice field.

Another neighbor, Ahmed Al-Qaesi, said his wife and son were among the injured, with shrapnel injuries. Al-Qaesi agreed to demolish part of his home to make way for rescue workers.

As Mansur’s funeral began in the Gaza Strip on Sunday afternoon, the Israeli military said it suspected it had attacked an “Islamic Jihad rocket launch pad.” Smoke was visible from the strike as Gaza rattled and exploded. Israeli airstrikes and rocket attacks continued for hours, with sirens blaring across central Israel. Sirens blared as far north as Tel Aviv on Sunday night as the call to prayer rang out in Gaza at sunset.

Hamas is not involved in the conflict. (AP)

Israel says some of the deaths during this round were caused by erroneous rocket launches, including one incident in the Jebariya refugee camp in northern Gaza on Saturday that killed six Palestinians. increase. On Sunday, two men were killed when a projectile hit a house in the same area of ​​Jebaliyah. The Palestinians held Israel responsible, but Israel said it was investigating whether the area had been hit by a false rocket.

The Israeli Defense Ministry said mortars fired from Gaza hit the Erez border crossing into Israel and were used by thousands of Gazans in one day. The ministry said the mortar shell had damaged the roof and debris hit the entrance to the hall. The crossing was closed during the fighting.

Rafah’s attack was the deadliest to date in the current round of fighting launched by Israel on Friday by targeting and killing an Islamic Jihad commander in northern Gaza.

Israel says it has taken action against militant groups because of the specific threat of imminent attack, but has not given details. Inexperienced caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid launched an offensive three months before the general election and campaigned to retain the job.

Israel said it had concrete evidence of an imminent attack. (AP)

In a statement on Sunday, Rapid said its forces would continue to strike targets in Gaza “in a pinpoint and responsible manner to minimize harm to non-combatants.” Rapid said the strike that killed Mansur was an “extraordinary achievement”.

“Surgery will continue as long as necessary,” Rapid said.

Israel estimates that about 15 militants were killed in the airstrikes.

Islamic Jihad has fewer fighters and supporters than Hamas, and little is known about its arsenal. Both groups call for the destruction of Israel, but their priorities differ, and Hamas is constrained by its demands for governance.

The Israeli military said militants in Gaza had fired about 580 rockets into Israel. The military said its air defense systems intercepted many of them, two of his planes being shot down and fired towards Jerusalem.

Relatives mourn outside a hospital in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, before the funeral of Muhammad Hassona, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike. (AP)

For the first time since the war between Israel and Hamas last year, air raid sirens sounded in the Jerusalem area on Sunday.

Jerusalem is usually the flashpoint during cross-border fighting between Israel and Gaza. On Sunday, hundreds of Jews, including seditious ultranationalist lawmaker Itamar Ben Gubir, marched to the sensitive holy site of Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as a noble sanctuary. I visited Police said the visit ended successfully under close police protection.

Such demonstration visits by Israeli hardliners seeking to underline Israeli sovereignty claims over disputed Jerusalem have sparked violence in the past. It is central to the conflicting narratives of Palestinian and Israeli Jews.

In Palestinian cities and towns in the West Bank, Israeli security forces said they had detained 19 people suspected of belonging to Islamic Jihad during overnight raids.

By Sunday, Hamas still appeared to be out of the fight.The group has strong incentives to avoid another war. Last year’s Israel-Hamas war was one of his four major conflicts in the last 15 years, with several smaller battles.

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Since the last war, Israel and Hamas have slightly eased the border blockades imposed by Israel and Egypt when Hamas seized territory 15 years ago, based on keeping cool in exchange for work permits. A tacit understanding has been reached. Israel has issued her 12,000 work permits to the Gaza worker, and he expects to give another 2,000 permits.

The only power plant in Gaza shut down at midday on Saturday due to a fuel shortage. Israel has continued to close crossings to Gaza since Tuesday. The new chaos has left Gazans with only four hours of electricity in his day, increased reliance on private generators, and led to a chronic power crisis in the region during the peak summer heat. It’s getting serious.

A ceasefire is imminent as Israel takes a toll on Palestinian militants

Source link A ceasefire is imminent as Israel takes a toll on Palestinian militants

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