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After an Egyptian-brokered truce between Israel and Gaza, the lives of Palestinians and Israelis return to normal


The Israeli army said that a rocket fired from Gaza “fell in an open area” in southern Israel, which led to an artillery response at two military sites in the northern strip.

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip ended a confrontation between the Israeli army and armed Palestinian factions that lasted for five days and left 35 people dead, most of them Palestinians.

The agreement entered into force on Saturday night, and calm returned on Sunday morning in the Gaza Strip and Israel, without the sound of bombing, planes or sirens sounding.

Life returned to the streets of the Gaza Strip, which were crowded with pedestrians and vehicles, and fishermen sailed in their boats in the coastal strip. Gaza residents inspected the destruction of their homes in different areas.

After the agreement entered into force on Saturday night, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip took to the streets in celebration.

The recent confrontations were the most violent between Gaza and Israel since August 2022. It began on Tuesday with air strikes that killed three military commanders in the Islamic Jihad movement, which Israel, the European Union, the United States and the European Union classify as a “terrorist organization”.

On Sunday, the Israeli Office for the Coordination of Civil Affairs in the Palestinian Territories (COGAT) announced a “partial and gradual reopening” of the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the northern Gaza Strip and the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing (south).

He added that the “full opening” of the crossings would be possible after conducting “new assessments of the situation.”

For his part, the United Nations envoy to the Middle East, Tor Wiennesland, said in a statement, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of life … including the lives of children and women caused by Israeli strikes and the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by Islamic Jihad and other groups.”

“I call on all parties to respect the ceasefire … and I look forward to” for humanitarian aid to arrive again in Gaza, Wenesland added.

On Sunday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the ceasefire agreement, offering his “deepest condolences” to the families of the victims, according to a statement issued by his spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Dujarric said the secretary-general also commended Egypt for its “key role in ending hostilities” as well as the efforts of Qatar, Lebanon and the United States.

The statement added that Guterres “calls on all parties to abide by the ceasefire.”

If calm has returned to the Gaza Strip, clashes took place on Sunday in the occupied West Bank. Also, the Israeli army reported that it had arrested two Palestinians in Nablus who it said had opened fire on security forces on March 25 in the village of Hawara, wounding two soldiers.

On Sunday evening, the Israeli army said that a missile fired from Gaza “fell in an open area” in southern Israel, which led to an artillery response on two military sites in the northern strip.

The Islamic Jihad Movement said in a statement that the rocket fire was the result of a “technical error,” stressing that it “respects the cease-fire.”


In the Gaza Strip, Maysara Farwana saw that the latest round of escalation was “one of the most wonderful rounds that was characterized by national unity and in which the resistance factions came together.”

As for Muhammad al-Louh, 69, he demanded compensation after losing his home. “We are on the street. There is no home for my children and grandchildren. At least they should rent a house for us to live in,” he said. “The extent of the destruction is huge,” he added.

In Ashkelon, the 60-year-old social worker, Yael, said, “We were very afraid… to be stuck at home for four days is very difficult.”

In Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Anat Dolev welcomed the truce. “It’s good that they found time to shoot,” she said. Dolev considered it “shameful that there are more and more rounds” of violence.

A number of rockets were fired in the quarter of an hour that followed the date of the armistice’s entry into force (19:00 GMT), followed by new Israeli strikes, before calm returned.

The Israeli army stated that two rockets were fired from Gaza after 23:00 (20:00 GMT), causing no injuries.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Sunday, “I commend the Israeli army, the Shin Bet internal security service, and all the security forces for what they have done to strike Islamic Jihad terrorists and protect the residents of Israel.”

Arrangements and guarantees

A diplomatic source familiar with the negotiations told AFP that there had been several failed rounds of truce talks led by Egypt, raising fears that the conflict could escalate before a deal is reached.

The source, who was not authorized to speak to the media, added that Lebanese politician Basil al-Hassan had a “key role” in contacting the Islamic Jihad leadership and getting the talks back on track.

Hassan heads the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee, a government body that has confirmed his “active role” in facilitating talks between PIJ Secretary General Ziyad al-Nakhala and the armistice mediators.

An official in the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee, on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the negotiations, said, “As a result of our relationship with the leadership of the Palestinian factions, specifically Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhala, we were able to make certain arrangements so that there would be communication with the United Nations and the Egyptians so that there would be a response to the offers presented to the Islamic Jihad on the issue.” cease-fire”

He added, “The United Nations and the Egyptians worked to provide guarantees for a paragraph on stopping the assassinations of individuals so that, according to their interpretation of the covenant, it would include stopping the assassinations of the leaders of the Palestinian factions, specifically the Islamic Jihad.”

He explained, “The process of transferring the guarantees and confirming to the Islamic Jihad took place through us that this paragraph related to not targeting individuals guarantees that the Palestinian leaders will not be assassinated. And the shooting has stopped since Saturday as a result of this particular paragraph.”

Israel and Islamic Jihad thanked Egypt for its mediation, which Washington also praised. White House spokeswoman Karen Jean-Pierre confirmed in a statement that the White House welcomes the announcement of the armistice “in order to avoid further loss of life and restore calm to both Israelis and Palestinians.”

In the Gaza Strip, which has been under Israeli blockade since the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) took control of it in 2007, the Interior Ministry accused Israel of focusing its strikes on “civilian targets and residential buildings.”

mutual warning

Among the dead Palestinians were six military commanders from Islamic Jihad and fighters from the movement and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed the killing of at least 13 Palestinian civilians, including seven minors. The Israeli army said four civilians, including three minors, were killed by Palestinian rockets that hit the Gaza Strip.

Tariq Selmi, spokesman for Islamic Jihad, warned Israel against “any stupid act or assassination of the leaders of the … Palestinian resistance,” while Muhammad al-Hindi, head of the movement’s political department, said in a phone call from Cairo that the agreement includes a commitment from Israel to “stop targeting mujahideen.”

“Quiet will be met with calm,” the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. “If Israel is attacked or threatened, it will do everything it needs to defend itself,” he added.

In a subsequent statement, Netanyahu said, “We have finished off all the senior leadership of Islamic Jihad, destroyed 17 headquarters of Islamic Jihad, killed dozens of terrorists, struck missile bases, eliminated anti-tank missile teams, and more.”

He added, “Today, Israel’s enemies in and outside Gaza know that even if they try to hide, we can and will reach them at any time.”

A military official said Sunday that 1,468 missiles were fired at Israel, 1,139 of which penetrated Israeli airspace, while the army intercepted more than 430.

This defense system usually works when missiles threaten populated areas.

The Gaza Strip, a narrow area in which 2.3 million Palestinians live, who suffer from poverty and unemployment, has witnessed a number of wars with Israel since 2008.

In August 2022, three days of clashes between Israel and Islamic Jihad killed 49 Palestinians, including at least 19 children, according to the United Nations. On that day, more than a thousand rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel, which led to three injuries.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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