Israel, Islamic Jihad agree to ceasefire, reports say

The ceasefire began at 5:30 a.m. according to reports. 

By World Israel News Staff

A ceasefire has been reached effective as of 5:30 a.m. Israeli time, Israeli media reports. However, at least five rockets from Gaza were fired later in the day.

The ceasefire was reached with the help of Egyptian mediators after negotiations with Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala, who flew from Damascus to Cairo on Wednesday evening.

The ceasefire is “‘a result of Egypt’s efforts’ and has been endorsed by ‘Palestinian factions including Islamic Jihad,’” said a top Egyptian official quoted by The Times of Israel.

Al-Nahkhala said on Wednesday that “We will agree to a ceasefire under certain conditions.” These included an end to clashes in Gaza and Judea and Samaria, an end to shooting at rioters on the Gaza border, he said.

However, according to an Israeli official quoted by The Jerusalem Post, Israel made no concessions in reaching a ceasefire with the extremist Islamist terrorist group.

“Israel achieved its operational objectives. Islamic Jihad was significantly harmed, infrastructures were destroyed and over 20 terrorists were targeted [killed],” the official said, Jpost reports.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We have here a real change in the equation, because now the they know – the terrorist leaders down to the last activist – that we can reach them in their hideouts with surgical precision, and act against them. We’re at the height of the battle, but we hope it will be as short as possible.”

Read  IDF bombs Hamas complex following rocket attacks

The actual number of Palestinians killed according to latest reports is 34, assuming a report from the Gaza Health Ministry is accurate concerning the death of a family of six from an Israeli rocket strike in the town of Deir al-Balah which is in the central Gaza Strip.

Over 450 rockets were launched at Israel within 48 hours since the IDF’s targeted killing of Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu Al Ata.

Netanyahu said that the Islamic Jihad leader was a central terror figure, responsible for the launching of  “hundreds of rockets” into Israel. He said he was a “ticking time-bomb” whose intention to attack again made it necessary for Israel to kill him first.