A fragile ceasefire agreement came into effect Thursday morning in the Gaza Strip after two days of fighting between Israeli forces and Islamic Jihad. These clashes have left more than 30 dead in the Palestinian enclave, home to about two million people.
In an attempt to curb this new spiral of violence, UN envoy for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, arrived in Cairo on Wednesday to lead with the Egyptians, who enjoy a strong influence on Gaza and relations. with Israel, mediation for "urgent de-escalation".
This ceasefire agreement came into effect at 5:30 am, says an Egyptian source familiar with the mediation. It "intervenes as a result of Egypt's efforts" and has been endorsed by "Palestinian factions including Islamic Jihad," said a senior official of the movement.
Six members of the same family killed
According to the Egyptian official, the agreement also stipulates that Palestinian factions must ensure "to keep the peace" during demonstrations against the Israeli blockade on Gaza and the return of Palestinian refugees to their lands.
For its part, Israel must stop its strikes and "ensure a cease-fire" during these demonstrations of the "march of the return" which made more than 300 dead and thousands of wounded in the band of Gaza, according to this source.
Earlier Wednesday night, eight members of a Palestinian family, including five children, were killed in an Israeli strike targeting elements of Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, according to the local health ministry.
These deaths bring to 34 the number of deaths since Tuesday in Israeli strikes against the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, which also caused 111 wounded.
More than 360 rockets launched on Israel
The sequence began on Tuesday at dawn with a targeted operation against Baha Abu al-Ata, a senior Islamic Jihad commander whom Israel accused of a series of attacks.
In response, the Islamic Jihad launched more than 360 rockets on Israel according to the army. It then multiplied the air strikes against the positions of this armed Islamist group in Gaza.
"Stop your attacks, or you will take more blows," warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. "We are determined to fight and defend our country, and if they think that these salvos of rockets will weaken us or make us lose our determination, they are wrong," he added to the Islamic Jihad. .
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.
Unlike Islamic Jihad, several months ago, Hamas approved a truce with Israel negotiated through the UN, Egypt, a border country of Gaza, and Qatar, the Gulf emirate. The agreement included the monthly entry of millions of dollars in aid for the Palestinian enclave, where the unemployment rate is around 50%.