News World Palestinians report Gaza truce with Israel as violence ebbs

Palestinians report Gaza truce with Israel as violence ebbs

A deadly surge in violence in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel petered out overnight and Palestinian officials reported that Egypt had mediated a truce early on Monday.

The latest round of fighting erupted three days ago, peaking on Sunday when rockets and missiles from Gaza killed four civilians in Israel, and Israeli strikes killed 19 Palestinians, more than half of them civilians.

Two Palestinian officials and a TV station belonging to Hamas, Gaza’s Islamist rulers, said a ceasefire had been reached at 0430 a.m. (0130 GMT), apparently stopping the violence from broadening into a conflict which neither side seemed keen on fighting.

Israeli officials did not comment on whether a truce had been reached, but the military said that protective restrictions in place on residents of southern Israel since the fighting began were being lifted.

Israel’s military said that more than 600 rockets and other projectiles – over 150 of them intercepted by its Iron Dome anti-missile system – had been fired at southern Israeli cities and villages since Friday. It said it attacked about 320 targets belonging to Gaza militant groups.

But the violence — the most serious border clashes since a spate of fighting in November — appeared to abate early on Monday.

Rocket sirens in southern Israel, which had gone off continuously over the weekend, sending residents running for cover, were quite for a few hours straight before dawn. Israel’s military reported no new air strikes in Gaza.

Egypt and the United Nations, who have served as brokers in the past, had been trying to mediate a truce.

The violence began two days ago when a sniper from the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad fired at Israeli troops, wounding two soldiers, according to the Israeli military.

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.

This time, Israeli strategic affairs analysts said, both Islamic Jihad and Hamas militants appeared to believe they had some leverage to press for concessions from Israel, where independence day celebrations begin on Wednesday.

Some 2 million Palestinians live in Gaza, the economy of which has suffered years of Israeli and Egyptian blockades as well as recent foreign aid cuts and sanctions by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas’ West Bank-based rival.

Israel says its blockade is necessary to stop weapons reaching Hamas, with which it has fought three wars since the group seized control of Gaza in 2007, two years after Israel withdrew its settlers and troops from the area.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

COVID-19: Average age in Cyprus is 31 (tables)

Here are the infographics, by the Ministry of Health, with statistics on the course of the coronavirus until September 17, 2020. The average age...

“Diplomacy now has the floor”, Erdogan says in Twitter post

A 180° turn is observed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who, as shown by his recent post on a popular microblogging site, has decided to...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 30.55 million, death toll at 951,051

More than 30.55 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 951,051 have died, according to a Reuters...

Man, 28, arrested for possession of cannabis

A man, aged 28, from Limassol, was arrested in Nicosia on Saturday night for possession of approximately one kilo of cannabis, police said on...

UK’s Johnson to levy 10,000 pound fine on COVID-19 rule-breakers

People in England who break new rules requiring them to self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19 will face...

Taste

Swordfish with aubergines

To toast the sesame seeds: place sesame seeds in a small non-stick frying pan over low heat and stir until you begin to smell...

Chicken with okra and bulgur wheat

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the okra until golden. Remove the okra, lay out in an oven tray and sprinkle with...

Ravioli

Just a little before serving, heat the broth and add the ravioli. (If the ravioli is frozen you don’t have to defrost). Heat them...

Seafood kebab with avocado salad

Place the mussels, shrimps and salmon in a bowl together with tarragon and lemon zest. Season and cover, keeping in the fridge for 15...