Gaza-Israel frontier calms as ceasefire takes hold

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 14, 2018

Kuwait and Bolivia meanwhile requested an urgent closed-door meeting later on Tuesday of the UN Security Council to discuss the violence, diplomats said.

Mladenov had earlier called the escalation "extremely dangerous" and said on Twitter that "restraint must be shown by all".

Palestinian resistance factions announce Egypt-brokered cease-fire with Israel in Gaza, Turkey's official Anadolu Agency reported Tuesday amid a major flare-up of violence threatened to descend into full-blown war.

The sudden announcement brought relief to a region that had been paralysed by hundreds of Palestinian rocket attacks in southern Israel and scores of Israeli airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip.

The joint command of the Palestinian armed factions in Gaza said in a statement on Tuesday they would abide by a ceasefire "as long as the Zionist enemy does the same".

Sirens wailed in southern Israel and tens of thousands of residents had taken cover in shelters as around 460 rockets and mortar rounds were fired from the Gaza Strip, wounding 27 people, including three severely.

But hours after Mr Netanyahu spoke on Sunday, an Israeli commando unit on an undercover mission was caught behind enemy lines in Gaza by Hamas militants.

Israeli Security Minister Yuval Steinitz said after a seven-hour cabinet debate that he knew of no formal truce.

The anti-tank missile attack occurred less than a day after an IDF special operations officer was killed in an operation in Gaza gone awry that also killed seven Palestinian gunmen. CBS News saw the aftermath of a Hamas rocket hitting an Israeli house.

Israel said it has struck more than 100 targets it says are linked to militants in Gaza, including a strike that destroyed the TV station of the ruling Hamas group.

"What happened was like an natural disaster", said Abu Ayman Lemzeni, who lives near the destroyed TV building. Some 26 other people were wounded in the Palestinian territory, according to Gaza's health ministry.

The agreements had led to calmer protests along the Gaza border after months of deadly unrest.

Israel said it was an intelligence-gathering operation and that those efforts must continue to defend the country.

Israeli troops have killed more that 220 Palestinians during those confrontations, which have included border breaches.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008, and protests and clashes along the Gaza border since March 30 have repeatedly raised fears of a fourth.

Celebrations are taking place on the streets of Gaza following a ceasefire deal after two days of heavy Israeli bombardment on Gaza.

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