A ceasefire agreement came into force Thursday at 5:30 local time in the Gaza Strip, an Egyptian source told AFP after mediation and a senior official of Islamic Jihad. This "ceasefire agreement comes as a result of Egypt's efforts" and has been endorsed by "Palestinian factions including Islamic Jihad," said the senior Egyptian official. According to the official, the agreement stipulates that the Palestinian factions must also ensure a return to calm in Gaza and "maintain peace" during demonstrations.
Israel, for its part, must also stop hostilities and "ensure a cease-fire" during demonstrations by Palestinians. A source in Islamic Jihad has confirmed the agreement to AFP. An Israeli military official said Wednesday night that the Israeli army would end its operation in Gaza if the Islamic Jihad ceased its rocket fire to Israel. Earlier, six members of a Palestinian family were killed in an Israeli strike targeting elements of Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, according to the local health ministry.
Islamic Jihad targeted, not Hamas
These new deaths bring to 32 the number of deaths in Gaza in Israeli strikes targeting since Tuesday not Hamas, but another local armed Islamist group, Islamic Jihad, according to the latest record of this ministry. The Israeli army accuses Islamic Jihad in particular of using human shields to protect itself from strikes and says it uses cutting-edge techniques to minimize civilian casualties.
This sequence is the deadliest since clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians who made about sixty dead on May 14, 2018 in Gaza, the day of the inauguration in Jerusalem of the American embassy. This decision endorsed the United States' recognition of this disputed city as the capital of Israel.