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Hamas-Israel ceasefire holds after night of violence

A ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel appears to be holding, following one of the worst days of violence in the Gaza Strip since the 2014 Gaza war.

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News Analysis |

A ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel appears to be holding, following one of the worst days of violence in the Gaza Strip since the 2014 Gaza war. On May 30, Gaza’s dominant Islamist Hamas movement said that the Palestinian armed groups have agreed to a ceasefire as long as Israel holds its side of the bargain.  This was done following a night of air attacks targeting several Hamas and Islamic Jihad positions in the coastal enclave.

The Israeli government had yet to comment on the offer but Khalil al-Hayya, Hamas’s Deputy Chief in Gaza, said the group was committed to a truce as long as Israel was. With this in mind, there was no report of violence two hours after the announcement of the truce was made.

Mortars fired by Palestinian militants hit civilian infrastructure, including a kindergarten.

Israel Katz, Israeli Intelligence Minister sidestepped questions regarding the agreement of the ceasefire but said that Israel was not interested in any escalation toward war. “It all depends on Hamas. If it continues (to attack), I don’t know what its fate will be,” Katz said on Israel Radio.

“A number of mediators intervened in the past hours, and an agreement was reached to return to the 2014 ceasefire in Gaza,” Hayya said in a statement.

Read more: Israel says struck 25 more Hamas targets after rocket and mortar…

Hours earlier, a Hamas-affiliated Twitter account announced that the group had agreed to return to an understanding on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip so long as the “occupier” did the same.

The Israeli Army said it struck 60 targets belonging to Palestinian resistance groups after a “barrage of projectiles” were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Tuesday. The firing of rockets and mortar rounds came as Islamic Jihad vowed to avenge a deadly attack against its members last week.

A Hamas spokesman defended Tuesday’s attacks as a “natural response to Israeli crimes,” while an Islamic Jihad spokesman said: “The blood of our people is not cheap.”Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas slammed Israel for the burst of violence, accusing it of “escalating tensions.”

“A number of mediators intervened in the past hours, and an agreement was reached to return to the 2014 ceasefire in Gaza,” Hayya said in a statement.

Difficult days have passed in the West Bank, Jerusalem and especially in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli occupation launched a fierce aggression on the Gaza Strip today with rockets and aircraft. This indicates that the occupation does not want peace. However, we want peace, and we demand peace,” he observed.

After this, Egyptian security officials intervened and brokered a fragile ceasefire, after Israel warned of ‘tougher retaliation measures.’ Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith stated that “The truce came about after Israel conveyed a message to the Egyptians that if the Palestinian factions didn’t stop, Israel would react in a stronger, harder way and target the leadership of those groups.”

Read more: Palestinian killed in Israel strike in north Gaza: ministry

This sparked immense International concern as an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council was called by the United States to “discuss the latest attacks on Israel out of the Gaza Strip by Hamas and other militants,” (U.S. Mission) and was expected to take place Wednesday.

The U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley further added to the above statements by saying “The recent attacks out of Gaza are the largest we have seen since 2014. Mortars fired by Palestinian militants hit civilian infrastructure, including a kindergarten.

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.”

Palestinians are demanding their right to return their home and land after they were expelled from the Establishment of Israel in 1948. Moreover, further escalating problems, since March 30, at least 121 unarmed Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in protests near the Israeli fence between Gaza and Israel.

So, will this latest tension be contained and will the ceasefire hold? Or will we experience another burst of violence spiralling out of control?


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