Islamic Jihad group announces Gaza ceasefire with Israel

Sunday, 28 Oct, 2018

The Israeli army carried out scores of air strikes across the besieged Gaza Strip in the early hours of Saturday, in the highest-intensity offensive on the coastal Palestinian territory since the summer.

Egyptian mediators have been trying to prevent a full-blown conflict between Hamas and Israel for months.

It said it would halt its fire if Israel did the same. Sixteen of the rockets were shot down by Iron Dome, while the rest fell in open areas.

And army chief of staff, General Gadi Eisenkot, held a "situation assessment" at the military's Tel Aviv headquarters along with senior officials from the Shin Bet internal security agency.

There was no word on injuries as a result of the rockets and airstrikes. "The Islamic Jihad will abide by the cease-fire if the occupation (Israel) does the same".

"Over the night, we have passed those messages to the relevant parties, and I'd emphasize and say that our response is not limited geographically", Conricus said in a briefing to reporters Saturday morning.

The Israeli military has not commented on the damage to the medical facility, accusing Hamas on Twitter of "deliberately" placing its training site and a weapons depot "next to schools, a hospital & a mosque".

On Friday, thousands of Palestinians gathered at five locations along the boundary, burning tires and throwing rocks, grenades and firebombs at Israeli troops who responded with tear gas and occasional live fire.

Israel strikes 80 sites across Gaza
Israel strikes 80 sites across Gaza Israel strikes 80 sites across Gaza

Israeli medics said seven civilians were being treated for shock. However, he added that "once [Hamas] allow violence near the security fence, they can't be surprised other factions fire [rockets]".

Earlier Friday, London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat reported Egypt reached a short-term agreement between Israel and Hamas to ease violence along their common border.

On Wednesday, Egyptian intelligence officials met representatives of Palestinian factions in Gaza.

They are also protesting over Israel's crippling blockade.

"The Egyptian efforts led to understandings to restore calm to Gaza Strip". The internationally recognized Abbas lost control of Gaza in 2007.

It also called for "immediate steps towards ending the closure and the restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the Gaza Strip".

Hamas has demanded a full lifting of the blockade, which has made it increasingly hard for Hamas to govern. Israeli snipers deployed on the border have killed more than 210 Palestinians, and one Israeli soldier was killed by sniper fire from Gaza.

A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to throw stones at Isreali forces during a demonstration at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on August 24, 2018.