Hamas announces ceasefire with Israel after worst escalation in years

Elias Hubbard
November 14, 2018

Over the past two days terrorist organization Hamas, in partnership with Islamic Jihad, launched more than 300 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli communities. But Israelis are burning tyres to show their anger at the agreement.

The Israeli army estimated there were 20,000 projectiles in Gaza that could be fired.

Multiple efforts to reconcile the Palestinian factions have failed, and with an unemployment rate of 53 percent, Mladenov recently warned of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which he said was "imploding".

Egypt and the United Nations had been brokering indirect negotiations for a long-term truce with Israel, against which Hamas has fought three wars since 2008.

He criticised the intensive Arabic contacts and mutual visits with the Israeli officials and blamed the internal Palestinian disputes, stating they pave the way for Arab-Israeli normalisation.

Former Bahraini Minister Mohammad Ali Fakhro criticised the Arab world's normalisation with Israel, blaming these ties for Tel Aviv's continuous targeting of Palestinians, Arabi21 reported yesterday.

The sudden announcement brought relief to a region that had been paralysed by hundreds of Palestinian rocket attacks in southern Israel and scores of Israeli airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip. "Israel responded that the events on the ground will decide [if a ceasefire will go into effect]", the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Times of Israel.

It broke out when Israel killed a Hamas commander in a botched undercover operation in Gaza, and has sparked into the worst conflict between Israel and Hamas since 2014.

An anti-tank missile also hit a bus that Hamas says was being used by Israeli soldiers.

Spokesman Abdel-Latif Al-Qanoua said the militants had "taught the enemy a harsh lesson and made it pay for its crimes".

After an Israeli security cabinet meeting that reportedly lasted some six hours on Tuesday, a statement was issued saying the ministers "instructed the (military) to continue its operations as necessary".

While many Palestinians celebrated in the streets, in Israel the response was mixed.

Meanwhile, in the rocket-battered town of Sderot in Israel, dozens of protesters chanted "Disgrace!" at what they saw as their government's capitulation to militant violence.

In aerial attacks on Tuesday, Israel's military said it took out a rocket-launching squad and fired at several Palestinians infiltrating through the border fence around Gaza, which Israel keeps under blockade.

Seven Palestinians were killed in Gaza over the course of some 24 hours as Israeli strikes targeted militants and flattened buildings while sending fireballs and plumes of smoke into the sky.

Violence has simmered since Palestinians launched weekly border protests on March 30 to demand the easing of the blockade on Gaza and rights to lands lost in the 1948 war of Israel's founding.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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