Israel and Hamas agree on truce after deadly flare-up, officials say


Israel and Hamas agree on truce after deadly flare-up, officials say

So far, it is reported the death of 1 Hamas member and 12 wounded after the attacks, as well as the death of a 23-year-old woman and her son a year and a half after an attack in the city of Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza, according to Palestinian local media.

Palestinian political sources said agreement had been reached to end all rocket fire into Israel and air strikes on Gaza from around midnight (2100 GMT) on Thursday.

Abu Mujahed, spokesman of the Popular Resistance Committee, a smaller faction in Gaza, said on his Facebook page: "Upon Egyptian and worldwide efforts, a ceasefire between Palestinian resistance began conditional on the commitment of the occupation".

Gaza's militant Islamic Hamas rulers and Israel appeared to be honoring a cease-fire Friday that ended two days of an intense flare-up in violence amid efforts by neighboring Egypt to negotiate between the two sides.

The White House has said that easing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is one of its priorities.

Hamas official Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement that it was Israel who was responsible for the violence, and that "in the event of continued aggression, shelling and killing of the Palestinian people in Gaza, the resistance will not be silent".

Hours earlier, after the long-range Palestinian missile attack, the first of its kind since a 2014 war, Israeli air strikes had resumed after a short lull, flattening a multi-storey building that the Israeli military described as a Hamas headquarters.

"The principle of returning [captured] soldiers, alive, wounded or dead - is a principle we all grew up on, and must not allow to be lost", he said.

The Gaza Strip is home to more than 2 million Palestinians, over 70% of which are refugees who were forcibly expelled from their homes in present-day Israel when the state was established in 1948.

From orderly rows of solar panels in a field in the West Bank to the chaotic rooftops of Gaza, Palestinians are hoping that harnessing the energy of the sun can reduce their dependence on Israel for electricity.

For this reason Hamas started the so-called "Great March of Return" at the end of March the two-month-long violent confrontations along the border with Israel in Gaza which turned into the so-called "Kite Jihad" the daily attacks with incendiary balloons and kites which have caused a ecological disaster in southern Israel. Tens of thousands of Israelis spent several nights in bomb shelters, the IDF retaliated against over 150 terrorist targets, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his generals contemplated full-scale war.

i24NEWS Defense Correspondent Daniel Tsemach contributed reporting from southern Israel. The military says they targeted more than 150 Hamas militant targets in the Gaza strip.

"Everyday life in besieged Gaza is shaped by Israeli policy", IMEU added, posting a video compilation that captures the living conditions of millions of the almost two million people living in the occupied Gaza Strip.

The military said 30 of the some 180 rockets and mortars fired at Israel were intercepted by air defence systems. The IDF said the building was being used by Hamas for military purposes.

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov said the United Nations had engaged with Egypt in an "unprecedented effort" to avoid serious conflict, but cautioned that "the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people".

The third slain Palestinian, reportedly a Hamas fighter, was killed in an airstrike in northern Gaza.

On Wednesday, the Israeli military shelled the Palestinian territory after civilians working on the Gaza border fence came under fire.