ISRAEL: A ceasefire was announced overnight between Israel and Palestine after nearly three consecutive days of persistent fighting.
Isolated weapons fire that broke out just minutes before and after the Sunday night deadline failed to derail the truce brokered and mediated in Egypt.
It is estimated that almost 44 people have lost their lives in the recent flare-up since an 11-day conflict in May 2021.
The US and United Nations have called upon leaders on both sides to observe this truce and follow it through to prevent other military outbreaks that threaten civilian lives and hinder the flow of humanitarian aid.
POTUS Joe Biden praised the truce and urged all parties “to implement [it] fully and to ensure fuel and humanitarian supplies are flowing into Gaza.” The US President has also urged reports of civilian casualties to be recorded and reported on time.
The ceasefire that Egypt mediated between the two nations came into effect late on Sunday. Minutes later, the Israeli military confirmed it was striking Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) targets in Gaza as a response to the shots fired before. Israeli media also reported some isolated rocket fire from Gaza in the minutes after the deadline.
Thankfully, no further violence was reported as the night wore on.
The latest violence results from the Israeli military’s response to threats from a militant group on the Palestinian side. It followed days of tension as Israel arrested a veteran PIJ member on the occupied West Bank.
By Sunday evening, the Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the deaths of 15 children among the 44. Gaza’s health ministry has accused the Israeli military of this massacre and for wounding at least 300.
Meanwhile, Israel has condemned Palestinian forces, specifically the PIJ, for killing multiple children in Jabalia using rocket launchers.
As concerns over the humanitarian situation in Gaza continued, the ceasefire was implemented when health officials warned that hospitals only had enough fuel to run generators for another two days maximum.
PIJ spokesperson Tareq Selmi said, “We appreciate the Egyptian efforts that had been exerted to end the Israeli aggression against our people.”
However, Israel has boldly announced that it is ready to take the offensive side and “maintains the right to respond strongly” if the ceasefire is violated.
On Sunday, large masses gathered for the funerals of those who perished in the strikes on Rafah, in the south of the territory, including senior PIJ commander Khaled Mansour – the second top militant to have died. Demonstrations in support of Gaza have also been held in the West Bank city of Nablus.
PIJ, one of the strongest militant groups currently operating in Gaza, is backed by Iran and has its headquarters in the Syrian capital Damascus.
It has been held accountable for many attacks, including rocket fire and shootings against Israel.