Published: Tue, May 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Israel Signals Cease-Fire With Gaza After Hundreds of Rockets

Israel Signals Cease-Fire With Gaza After Hundreds of Rockets

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he instructed the military "to continue its massive strikes on terror elements in the Gaza Strip".

Responding to the way the situation was characterized, conservative commentator and author Ben Shapiro rebuked those who seemingly use Israel as a political tool, taking issue with attacks on Jewish people in some situations (like at the synagogue shooting in California), but shifting their positions when the attacks are carried out by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Palestinian medical officials reported 23 deaths, including at least nine militants as well as two pregnant women and two babies.

The Gazan ministry reported late on Sunday that another four-month-old baby was among those killed in Israeli strikes in the northern Gaza Strip. According to news reports, terrorist groups have fired about 600 rockets towards Israel.

Israel killed a Hamas commander in the targeted strike on Sunday.

Palestinian officials said an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire agreement was reached with Israel on Monday to end the recent surge of violence in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two largest militant groups in Gaza, confirmed that a cease-fire was in place as of 4:30 a.m. local time.

Palestine has announced the death of 25 people, including a pregnant woman and a child but Israel disputed the account on the death of the last two, suggesting they died from Palestinian fire.

It was a rare admission of a targeted killing by Israel's army.

Palestinian witnesses said he was killed in an air strike on his auto.

Islamic Jihad accused Israel of delaying implementation of previous understandings brokered by Egypt in an effort to end violence and ease blockaded Gaza's economic hardship.

Israel's military said some 690 rockets and other projectiles have been fired over the Gaza frontier since Saturday, with more than 240 intercepted by its air defence system.

United States President Donald Trump meanwhile assured Israel on Sunday that it had Washington's full support against "these terrorist acts".

"Hamas believes that Netanyahu has abandoned his commitments, and they believe this is a very important time to put on pressure and get Israel to make good on promises, " said Mkhaimar Abusada, a professor of politics at Gaza's al-Azhar University.

Conricus said the military worked with the Israeli Security Agency to assassinate Hamed Khudary, 34, who it said was responsible for channeling Iranian money to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Netanyahu said on Monday: "The campaign is not over and it demands patience and sagacity".

Despite several of the dead being identified as civilians, and videos circulating on social media showing residential buildings being bombed, Israeli forces and officials have maintained that they are striking "terror targets".

Among those killed by Israel on Sunday was Hamid al-Khodari, a Hamas commander whose vehicle was struck in central Gaza City. The then defense minister had demanded counterstrikes against Hamas for its repeated strikes on Israel.

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