Gaza ceasefire halts fight between Israel and Palestinians

A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in Gaza appeared to have taken hold today. The Israeli army lifted restrictions for residents of the south after learning of Palestinian reports on a cease-fire reached between Israel and Hamas. This has brought a short but deadly bout of fighting to an end as abruptly as it had started. A fighting that saw nearly 700 rockets launched from the Strip and claimed the lives of four Israelis and 25 Palestinians.

Israel’s military lifted restrictions on residents living in the south, reopening roads and schools. Hamas’s radio station in Gaza reported a ceasefire.

The fire spread after gunmen in Gaza shot at Israeli soldiers on Friday. Israeli forces killed two Palestinian protesters and two militants on the same day. The Israeli military said it had struck 350 militant targets over the weekend. It resumed wartime tactics that included the targeted assassination of individuals and bombing buildings it said were used for military purposes.

The Israeli government did not confirm a renewed cease-fire, as is customary in such situations. With officials reluctant to go public about understandings or agreements with groups that Israel classifies as terrorist organizations.

Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that the battle with Gaza is not over, and called for forbearance.

“Over the past two days we have forcefully hit Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We struck more than 350 targets, we targeted terrorists and terrorist leaders and we destroyed terror structures. The battle is not over and requires patience and level-headedness. We are prepared to carry on.”

He offered his condolences to the families of the victims and said that the goal remains “to guarantee quiet and security for the residents of the south.”

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