Following rocket attacks on Israel by Gaza terrorists and the IDF’s retaliatory strikes, Israel and Hamas reportedly agreed to a ceasefire brokered by Egypt.
By Associated Press and World Israel News Staff
On Friday afternoon, it appeared that an Israel-Hamas ceasefire had gone into place, following rocket attacks on Thursday night launched by terrorists in Gaza and retaliatory Israeli strikes.
News of an Egyptian-brokered truce were accompanied by Israeli media reports that a misfire was believed to be responsible for the Gaza rocket attacks on Tel Aviv that triggered the exchange.
Eleven rockets were launched at Israel in total, and Israeli warplanes hit some 100 Hamas targets in Gaza, including one of the terror group’s command centers and its main rocket-manufacturing and drone development site.
Israeli media quoted defense officials as saying a preliminary investigation indicated the rockets were fired by mistake. It was not immediately clear if it was a technical malfunction or human error.
Also Friday, a Hamas official said an agreement to restore calm has been reached. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because Hamas has yet to announce the deal, said Egypt led meditation efforts “that have apparently paid off.”
Israel, however, had not confirmed the ceasefire reports as of Friday afternoon.
Daoud Shehab, a spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, which also launches rockets at Israeli civilians, said his organization is “committed to the ceasefire understandings” provided Israel “halts its aggression against the Palestinian people,” reported Times of Israel.
A Hamas official told the Times that his group “has no interest in an escalation” with Israel, and claimed not to know who launched the rockets toward Tel Aviv, a contention rejected by Israel.
In addition, a Hamas official also referred to the rocket fire as “outside the national consensus” and maintained there would be retribution for the responsible party.
The weekly violent riots on the Gaza border that have raged since March 2018 were also “postponed” this week, “out of concern for our people and in preparation for” a larger action on March 30, reported the Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Information Center. This is a significant development due to the consistency with which the violent weekly riots have been staged, which provide Hamas terrorists cover via crowds of paid demonstrators that often include minors.