Ceasefire takes hold on Israel-Gaza border after two days of violence

Gaza sources say 34 Palestinians were killed in this week's air strikes, while three Israelis were hurt by rocket fire


Quiet returned to Gaza in the early hours of this morning after Israel and Palestinian Jihad agreed a ceasefire brokered by Egypt, ending two days of violence.

Gaza’s health ministry put the Palestinian death toll at 34, while three Israelis sustained moderate to light injuries from retaliatory rocket fire.

The latest round of violence followed Israel’s assassination of senior Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata early on Monday who Israel said had been planning a major attack.

The IDF said 460 rockets were fired at Israel with 90 per cent of those which threatened built-up areas intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome Defence system.

An Islamic Jihad rocket-maker was reported to have been killed along with five of his children in one of the last strikes before the ceasefire came into effect at 5.30 this morning.

Israel’s new Defence Minister Naftali Bennett commented: “Some 20 terrorists were killed in the past 48 hours, but it's not over yet.”

He added, "The new rules of the game are clear: The army will have complete freedom of action, with no restrictions. A terrorist who tries to hurt Israel's civilians, won't be able to sleep in peace."

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, at a meeting with ambassadors from Latin America this morning, said Israel had "again proved in this round of fighting that it will not stand idle when our citizens' security is threatened. On the other hand, we made it perfectly clear that we are not interested in escalation and that the response to quiet will be quiet."

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