Gaza cease-fire takes effect after five days of deadly fighting

A cease-fire was in effect on the Gaza Strip Sunday, drawing people back into the streets after five days of clashes killed at least 34 Palestinians and one Israeli.
Egypt brokered the latest cease-fire, saying it had secured agreement from both Israel and the Palestinian resistance group Islamic Jihad.
At least 13 of those killed in Gaza were civilians, among them children as young as 4 years old, as well as women.
Israel has faced criticism in the past from rights groups over the civilian casualties in its bombardments in Gaza.
The Israeli military reported over 1,400 launches throughout the fighting, with some rockets reaching as far as the Tel Aviv and Al-Quds areas.

While the calm appeared to bring a sense of relief to Gaza’s 2 million people and hundreds of thousands of Israelis who had been largely confined to bomb shelters in recent days, the agreement did nothing to address the underlying issues that have fueled numerous rounds of fighting between Israel and Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip over the years.
In Gaza, residents surveyed the latest damage caused to their surroundings. Gaza’s main cargo crossing with the occupied territories reopened Sunday after warnings that keeping it closed would force Gaza’s sole power plant to shut down, deepening a power crisis.
A spokesman for the interior ministry in Gaza said on the final day of its campaign the Israeli military had concentrated on “targeting civilians, residential and civilian buildings”.
The latest round of Gaza fighting was sparked Tuesday when Israeli jets killed three top commanders from the Islamic Jihad group. Those killings set off a barrage of fire and the conflagration.
It was the latest in a long series of battles between Israel and Palestinian fighters in Gaza since Hamas seized control of the seaside territory in 2007. Israel and Hamas have fought four wars, and there have been numerous smaller flareups as well.
The Gaza violence came after more than a year of fighting in the occupied West Bank, where the Israeli military has been staging near-nightly arrest raids and Palestinians have carried out repeated attacks.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Secretary General Ziad Nakhaleh has thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for standing by the Palestinians in their recent victory over the regime, according to IRNA.
He hailed the special role played by Iran, as well as the support provided by Egypt, Qatar, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the victory of the Palestinians over the Israeli regime.
The Islamic Jihad chief said the resistance in Gaza is ready to counter any aggression.
He added that Israelis were trying to silence the voice of the Palestinians, then they tried to make the Palestinians feel humiliated, but they failed to defeat the people.



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