Israel and Hamas agree on Gaza ceasefire after intense violence

Palestinian militants fired 400 rockets and mortars while Israel planes bombed 100 sites.

Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups have accepted an Egyptian-mediated agreement to halt two days of intense fighting with Israel sparked by a botched Israeli special forces raid miles inside Gaza, the Guardian reports.

The groups, including Hamas, said in a statement they would abide by the ceasefire as long as Israel did the same.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office and the military have yet to comment on the announcement.

The sudden announcement late on Tuesday brought a lull to the outbreak of violence in which both sides launched scores of bombings and reprisal attacks. Israeli civilians hid overnight in shelters from relentless rocket barrages and Palestinians cowered in basements from thundering airstrikes.

“What happened yesterday – the truce combined with the process with Hamas – is a capitulation to terror. It has no other meaning,” Lieberman told journalists. “What we’re doing now as a state is buying short-term quiet, with the price being severe long-term damage to national security.”

After a six-hour meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his security cabinet did not confirm the agreement, saying only that the Israeli military had been “instructed to continue its operations as necessary,” but Israeli news outlets reported that a cease-fire had been agreed to.

Lieberman has long demanded a more aggressive Israeli policy in Gaza, and his announcement follows the most intense round of fighting since the war in 2014.

Medics in Gaza said five people had been killed, two of whom were militants. In the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, a 40-year-old civilian was killed when a rocket hit a building. It was later revealed that the man was a Palestinian from the occupied West Bank living in Israel. Twenty Israelis have been wounded in the latest bloodshed.

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Relatives mourn the death of Hamad al-Nahal, a member of the Islamc Jihad who was killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip a day earlier, during his funeral in Rafah on Nov, 13th.2018.

In Gaza, some took to the streets Tuesday to celebrate after the cease-fire was announced. A rally was held near the television building to mark the “victory” against Israel.

But past cease-fire deals have been short-lived, and in Israeli cities such as Ashkelon, frustrations are running high.

“It is not right that we are sitting here scared. It is them that should be scared,” said Biran, the resident of Ashkelon, referring to Hamas.

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