Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Gaza border falls quiet after Egypt brokers ceasefire

Gaza border falls quiet after Egypt brokers ceasefire

An Israeli tank drives along the border with the Gaza strip, on the Israel-Gaza border, May 29, 2018.

"We are not conducting negotiations", he said, suggesting, in apparent reference to Hamas and Islamic Jihad that those who started the violence stop it.

Hamas political bureau official Khalil al-Haya stated today that the Palestinian factions would be committed to the ceasefire as long as Israel was in compliance as well. Islamic Jihad said, "we know how to respond to this risky escalation". There were no immediate reports of Palestinian casualties.

Five Israelis sustained light to moderate wounds in Tuesday's barrage, the army said.

Al-Qassam Brigades and al-Quds Brigades, divisions of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad Palestinian groups, claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks from Gaza.

Five Israelis were reportedly wounded while Israeli warplanes farther struck back, targeting several Hamas and Islamic Jihad positions, including an underground tunnel.

The strikes came in response to successive mortar barrages fired from Gaza into Israeli communities throughout Tuesday.

Dozens of the incoming mortar shells and rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, which proved relatively successful for the first time against the short-range mortar fire.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the country's army would "respond to these attacks powerfully".

Islamic Jihad takes its orders from Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, while Hamas in October a year ago mended ties with the Islamist regime in Tehran.

Gaza: Hours after it sailed off the coast of Gaza Strip, Palestinian boat was intercepted by Israel naval forces.

One mortar shell exploded near a kindergarten building, a military spokesman said, causing damage to the structure.

"The Security Council should be outraged and respond to this latest bout of violence directed at innocent Israeli civilians, and the Palestinian leadership needs to be held accountable for what they're allowing to happen in Gaza", said Haley.

Later Jihad spokesman Dawoud Shihab said an Egyptian-brokered agreement had been reached to return calm.

The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli blockade for over a decade, which Israel says is necessary to prevent Hamas from obtaining means to attack. The last war, in 2014, was particularly deadly, with more than 2,000 Palestinians dying, including hundreds of civilians.

Many said Iran's fingerprints were all over the attack. Israeli officials signaled they aren't looking for escalation, but warned that continued firing from Gaza could lead to a harsher Israeli response. On May 14 during the climax of the "Great March of Return" protests and on the day of the US Jerusalem Embassy move, over 60 Palestinians were shot by Israeli fire of which 52 were members of the terror group.

A Palestinian during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel east of Gaza City.

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