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Egypt embarking on effort to quell Gaza escalation, midnight ceasefire reported

30 May, 2018, 17:14 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a weekly cabinet meeting

Residential buildings in the Gaza Strip lost power.

It said other targets included "sheds of drones", a rocket manufacturing workshop, naval weaponry, military and training facilities and a munitions manufacturing site.

Egypt intervened on Tuesday to defuse tension after Israel launched the most devastating attacks on Gaza since the bloody conflict in 2014.

"Bombardment for bombardment and blood for blood".

The new text "calls for the consideration of measures to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population" in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Gaza Strip, according to the draft obtained by AFP news agency.

Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies and have fought three wars since the Islamic group seized control of Gaza in 2007.

"This latest escalation was actually initiated by the Islamic Jihad and not Hamas, partly because there has been progress in reaching an understanding between Hamas and Israel", said Kobi Michael, a senior researcher at Israel's Institute for National Security Studies and former deputy director general at Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

"Israel takes a grave view of the attacks on it and its communities by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the Gaza Strip".

Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus said the most extensive strikes from Gaza since the 2014 war had drawn "the largest IDF retaliatory attack" since that conflict.

Three Israeli soldiers were wounded by projectiles fired from Gaza, one moderately and two lightly, said the army. Israel said most were intercepted by its air defense systems. With Hamas claiming there is a ceasefire, it looks like the strategy is working. They added that "from the early morning fire has stopped, Israel passed on messages saying if attacks resume, the strikes against Hamas and its affiants will be even stronger".

Early on Tuesday, about 30 mortar shells were fired toward Israel from Gaza.

No one was injured in the incident, Steinitz said. "Mortars fired by Palestinian militants hit civilian infrastructure, including a kindergarten".

Amid global condemnation of its use of lethal force at the mass demonstrations that began on March 30, Israel said numerous dead were militants and that the army was repelling attacks on the border fence. "The resistance factions will abide by it as long as the Occupation does the same", he said in a statement, using militant groups' term for Israel.

Egypt, which shares a border with both Gaza and Israel, stepped in and convinced Palestinian militant groups to accept a truce.

For his part, however, Energy Minster Yuval Steinitz told Kan Reshet Bet Radio on Wednesday morning that he believes understandings have been reached with Hamas, but Intelligence Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz told the same station that there are no such understandings and no cease-fire.


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