Ceasefire Holds in Gaza

Ceasefire Holds in GazaCeasefire Holds in Gaza

A ceasefire agreement appeared to be holding following one of the worst days in violence in the Gaza Strip since the 2014 Gaza war.

Hamas said on Wednesday that armed groups in the Gaza Strip had agreed to a ceasefire following a night of Israeli air attacks targeting several Hamas and Islamic Jihad positions in the coastal enclave, Al Jazeera reported.

The Israeli regime 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.

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

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.

Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith, reporting from Gaza, said Egyptian security officials had helped broker the deal after Israel warned of “tougher retaliation measures” against the groups’ leadership.

“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.

“It’s 10 a.m. local time (07:00 GMT), and the ceasefire appears to be sticking for now, it started at 4 a.m. local time,” he added.

The Israeli army said it struck 60 targets belonging to Palestinian resistance groups after it was claimed that a “barrage of projectiles” were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Tuesday.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas slammed Israel for the burst of violence, accusing it of “escalating tensions”.

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