Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Hamas says ceasefire agreed to with Israel after significant exchange

Hamas says ceasefire agreed to with Israel after significant exchange

The spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon, said that the Israeli government was trying to reverse Indonesia's decision, the website reported. He also added that he hopes the IDF will not have to embark on a mission to "capture Gaza".

Mukhaimer Abu Saada, a professor of political science at Gaza's al-Azhar University, chalked up the renewal of hostilities to dissatisfaction among Hamas and Islamic Jihad over the current situation, which has included continued Israeli shelling.

Khalil al-Hayya, Hamas's deputy chief in Gaza, said the group was committed to a truce as long as Israel would also.

Reform Judaism has distanced itself from young Jews connected to its youth movement who said the Jewish prayer for the dead for 62 Palestinians killed at the Gaza border two weeks ago.

The report about Israel's move was widely circulated among travel agents offering trips to the Middle East on Wednesday. Israel says its actions are necessary to defend its borders, accusing Hamas of encouraging thousands of Palestinians to break through the border and attack Israelis.

A short while after the string of IAF strikes on Gaza, Hamas and Islamic Jihad lobbed a second barrage of mortar shells and rockets at southern Israel, with some missiles penetrating as far as 25 kilometers into the Jewish state.

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Despite the heavy barrage, no civilian casualties have been reported on the Israeli side as its Iron Dome missile defense system shot down numerous projectiles. The military said it hit more than 80 of what it said were "terrorist" targets including Palestinian training camps, weapons depots and a smuggling tunnel that could be used for cross-border attacks. More than 115 people have been killed since protests began on Gaza's border in March.

In southern Israel, residents spent much of Tuesday and overnight Wednesday in bomb shelters during what they said was the biggest round of rocket fire since the 2014 summer war. (Emphasis added.) The United Nations reported last year ("Gaza: Ten Years Later", pages 8-9, July 2017), that 2007 to 2010 (phase 1) "saw some 6,500 rockets fired from Gaza to Israel", 2010 to 2014 "saw more than 11,800 rockets and mortars fired towards Israel" (phase 2), and from 2015 until present, saw "some 200 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel" (phase 3).

The sudden burst of violence, which stretched past midnight with no signs of slowing, follows weeks of mass Palestinian protests along the Gaza border with Israel. Shehab said some militants rejected the cease-fire and were continuing to fire rockets.

"Qassam and Jerusalem Brigades (the groups' armed wings) announce joint responsibility for bombarding (Israel's) military installations and settlements near Gaza with dozens of rocket shells throughout the day", the groups said in a joint statement, according to Reuters. Gaza's unemployment rate is edging toward 50 per cent, and the territory suffers from chronic power outages.

Protesters have demanded that Palestinians who were expelled in the 1948 war amid Israel's creation be allowed to return to their former homes, now inside Israel.

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