Late on Tuesday evening, Israeli planes began intensive air strikes on Gaza, in response to a series of missiles launched from the Strip, after the death of prisoner Khader Adnan.
Two Palestinian sources revealed that a cease-fire was agreed between Israel and the armed Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip early this morning, Wednesday, after the death of a Palestinian detainee on hunger strike in an Israeli prison on Tuesday sparked an exchange of fire across the border.
Sources from the Palestinian factions stated that a “mutual and simultaneous” cease-fire entered into force at 3:30 am local time (00:30 GMT) with mediation efforts by officials of Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations.
Late on Tuesday evening, Israeli planes began intensive air strikes on Gaza, in response to a series of missiles fired from the Strip, after the death of detainee Khader Adnan.
The Al-Qassam Brigades, affiliated with the “Hamas” movement, indicated that “our air defenses responded to the invading warplanes on the Gaza Strip with surface-to-air missiles.”
The Palestinian factions also fired rocket barrages at the settlements surrounding the Gaza Strip.
For his part, the Israeli army spokesman announced that his country’s forces began launching a series of raids on targets in the Gaza Strip, in response to the rocket fire today, Tuesday.
Contacts with Egypt and Qatar
For its part, the Palestinian “Hamas” movement announced, at dawn on Wednesday, that the head of its political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, had contacted Egypt and Qatar with the aim of stopping the Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip.
The movement said, in a statement, that “Haniyeh is in contact with the brothers in Egypt and Qatar to stop the aggression on Gaza.”
She added: “Haniyeh holds the occupation responsible for what may result from the continuation of this brutal aggression,” without further details.
Before the start of the Israeli raids, the official Israeli channel, “Kan”, had reported on Tuesday evening that Israel was preparing for a round of escalation with the Gaza Strip, “which may last for several days.”
This came, according to what the channel reported, after the end of a security assessment that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held with the leaders of the army and security services, in light of a new escalation with Gaza.
The channel added that after the end of the security assessment, it has become almost likely that the Israeli army is in the process of responding to the firing of rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip earlier on Tuesday.
The channel quoted a political source familiar with the details of what happened during the evaluation session, saying, “The Israeli response is expected to be as soon as possible, and that the current round of escalation may continue for days, and perhaps more.”
The channel stated that “the Egyptian mediator (who was not named), after firing 3 rockets on Tuesday morning from Gaza towards the adjacent Israeli settlements, contacted Israeli officials in an attempt to contain the incident, but after the renewal of the rocket fire, those possibilities receded.”
The channel talked about the Israeli army’s preparations for the possibility of firing rockets from Lebanon by Palestinian factions.