Ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants holds overnight

The internal security authorities have begun relaxing lockdown restrictions imposed on Israeli citizens near the Gaza Strip


A ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants has held overnight, leading the Israel Defence Force (IDF) to begin relaxing security measures in the border region.

In a statement released Monday morning, military officials announced the reopening of roads near Gaza, the resumption of regular train services, and said residents no longer had to remain near a bomb shelter.

Despite a brief exchange of fire immediately before and after the ceasefire took hold at 11.30pm Sunday, the Egyptian-brokered deal has prevented any further rocket attacks.

The IDF statement added: “The removal of restrictions will continue gradually over the coming hours, in accordance with an assessment of the situation.”

The Eshkol Regional Council, which borders Gaza and faced heavy rocket fire, informed residents today that they could expect a “full return to routine”.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid thanked Egypt last night for its efforts negotiating the ceasefire, and added: "If the ceasefire is violated, the State of Israel maintains the right to respond strongly. We will not allow any disruption to the lives of the citizens of the State of Israel."

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also praised negotiation efforts, saying: “We welcome the Egyptian efforts that led to the halting of the occupation’s aggression in Gaza.”

American President Joe Biden said civilian casualties ought to be investigated in a timely manner, praised the truce and called on all parties "to fully implement [the ceasefire] and to ensure fuel and humanitarian supplies are flowing into Gaza".

The ceasefire came after three days of fighting in which at least 44 people were killed, the deadliest outbreak of violence between Israel and Palestinian militants since May 2021.

Four Palestinian children died on Saturday after a terrorist rocket misfired and fell back onto their home in Gaza, according to the IDF.

Terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which is backed by Iran and headquartered in Damascus, began firing rockets into Israel following the arrest of senior leader Bassam al-Saadi last week, and the assassination of Senior Commander Tayseer Jabari on Friday.

On Saturday, Israeli authorities said they had arrested 19 members of the group in the West Bank.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid claimed the arrest had been ordered because the PIJ was planning a major terror attack within Israel.

At 9pm Friday, the militant group began firing rockets from Gaza, sparking a series of counterstrikes from Israel.

According to the IDF, Palestinian terrorists fired over 1,100 rockets toward Israel during the fighting.

The Gaza Healthy Ministry said at least 44 Palestinians were killed, including 15 children, and almost 400 people were wounded.

IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ran Kochav claimed more innocent people in Gaza were killed by failed Islamic Jihad rockets than by Israeli airstrike, however.

Over 66 hours the IDF struck 170 targets and killed several high ranking PIJ members, including Taysir al-Jabari, a commander of the movement’s northern division.

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