At least 4 rockets attacks have been launched at Eshkol, Ashkelon, and Sha’ar Ha’Negev since the cease fire began last night. Still, the rate of shooting has subsided substantially since last night Egypt was successful in mediating a ceasefire between Palestinian terror factions and Israel, after four days of rocket attacks into Israel which were met by Israeli highly effective airborne response.
An Egyptian official told AP that the ceasefire went into effect at 1 a.m. Tuesday local time. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the volatility of the situation. A formal announcement of a cease-fire is not expected immediately. As first reported in the JewishPress.com Scoops section, there were quite a number of false starts until it mostly took hold.
After hours of talks, the various Palestinian Jihadist groups agreed to stop launching rockets at southern Israeli cities and Israel agreed to stop targeting terrorist leaders from the air.
Israeli officials cited Israel’s longstanding policy of “answering quiet with quiet,” but it is expected that enough new rocket attacks would bring back renewed air strikes.
Gaza’s Hamas Islamist leadership, whose official policy denies Israel’s right to exist and revokes the Oslo peace accords, has nevertheless kept out of the fighting and appeared unwilling to provoke and even greater conflict with Israel. Hamas confirmed that Egypt was mediating a deal to stop the fighting.
The ceasefire agreement followed calls for calm from the US, the UN, China, France, the EU and the Arab League.
Israel said Gaza Jihadists had fired between 150-200 rockets in four days at its southern towns since the fighting began on Friday. Back then Israel killed a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist who was on his way to attack Israel from Egyptian territory. The same terrorist had been the commander of the terrorist group that abducted of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit
Eight Israelis were injured by the rockets. An exceptionally high 85% of targeted rockets were intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” system.
According to Palestinian sources, twenty of the Palestinians killed in the fighting were terrorists who were caught in the act of launching rockets against Israeli civilians. Five Palestinian civilians were reportedly killed in the fire exchanges. The terrorist were launching strikes from populated areas to use the civilians as human shields.