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Islamic Jihad announce Gaza ceasefire after mortar attacks on Israel

30 May 2018

The United States circulated a draft statement calling on the council to condemn "in the strongest terms the indiscriminate firing of rockets by Palestinian militants in Gaza" toward Israel, according to a copy of the text seen by AFP.

Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, said Egyptian mediators intervened "after the resistance succeeded in warding off the aggression".

"An agreement was reached to return to the [2014] cease-fire understandings in the Gaza Strip".

Israeli cabinet minister Naftali Bennett, however, told Israel's Army Radio no agreement has been reached yet.

Tension escalated on Tuesday after Israel carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, in response to a volley of rockets fired from the Palestinian territory. Israeli soldiers have killed more than 120 Palestinians since March 30, most at protests dramatizing the Palestinian demand to reclaim land lost in the fighting surrounding Israel's 1948 creation.

Michael said Hamas was in a hard position following weekly mass demonstrations at the Israel-Gaza border fence.

Mukhaimer Abu Saada, a professor of political science at Gaza's al-Azhar University, chalked up the renewal of hostilities to dissatisfaction among Hamas and Islamic Jihad over the current situation, which has included continued Israeli shelling.

Israel says its actions are necessary to defend its borders, accusing Hamas of encouraging thousands of Palestinians to break through the border and attack Israelis.

Israeli forces kill three Palestinian militants in strike on observation post
A relative of a Palestinian who was killed at the Israel-Gaza border reacts at a hospital, in the southern Gaza Strip May 6, 2018. Separately on Saturday night, Israeli aircraft struck two targets belonging to Hamas, but there were no reports of casualties.

Israel said most were intercepted by its air defence systems but put residents in the area on high alert, ordering them to stay within 15 seconds of shelters. "Mortars fired by Palestinian militants hit civilian infrastructure, including a kindergarten".

Danny Danon, Israel's permanent representative to the United Nations, blasted the proposed resolution calling it "shameful" and crafted to help Gaza's rulers Hamas.

Media reports said Palestinians had agreed on a ceasefire.

The statement from three Reform leaders follows communal anger at the small group of mainly young Jews who said Kaddish for the dead, 50 of whom were known to be Hamas members by the time of their Parliament Square event. An Islamic Jihad spokesman said "the blood of our people is not cheap".

Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said the most extensive strikes from Gaza since the 2014 war also drew "the largest IDF retaliatory attack" since that conflict.

The current Israeli assessment of the situation is that Hamas is not interested in continuing the conflict after IDF destroyed most of its rocket production capabilities, and is actually making every possible effort to end the conflict.

This includes Israeli settlement policies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as the recent round of bloodshed in the Gaza, where Israeli fire killed over 100 Palestinians during mass protests along the Gaza border, Malki added.

Islamic Jihad announce Gaza ceasefire after mortar attacks on Israel