After three days of fighting, a ceasefire brokered by Egypt came into force in the Gaza conflict on Sunday evening. The exchange of blows between Israel and the militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad (PIJ) continued until the ceasefire began at 11:30 p.m. local time (10:30 p.m. CEST). Both sides had previously announced an end to the attacks separately.
The Israeli military launched the "Dawn" military action with airstrikes against Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip on Friday. The air force first killed the jihad military chief Taisir al-Jabari, and then on Saturday evening the southern jihad commander Khalid Mansur. According to the Israeli army, the deployment eliminated the military leadership of the jihad. The group, which is closely linked to Israel's arch-enemy Iran, is classified as a terrorist organization by the EU and the US.
According to the military, militant Palestinians had fired more than 900 rockets at Israeli towns since Friday. 160 of them hit the Gaza Strip itself.
In the Gaza Strip, the number of victims has increased to 44 dead and 360 injured since Friday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health announced on Sunday evening. According to the information, 15 children and four women were among the dead. The Palestinians blamed Israel for it. Israel's army, on the other hand, emphasized that misguided jihad rockets had claimed civilian lives in the Gaza Strip.
Rocket attacks on Israeli towns continued until the last minute on Sunday evening. In the coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv, too, the alarm sirens were still wailing in the evening. According to the military, almost all of the missiles that threatened Israeli residential areas were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The Israeli army also continued its attacks on jihadi targets in the Gaza Strip to the last.
The ruling Palestinian organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip, on the other hand, had largely held back in the conflict. According to commentators, Israel was concerned that the Islamist group could become involved in the fighting if it lasted longer. According to Israeli information, it has significantly more and longer-range missiles than Jihad, the second strongest military force in the Gaza Strip.
When the ceasefire was announced, Israel and Islamic Jihad thanked neighboring Egypt for mediating in the conflict. However, the jihad insisted on its right to "react to any Israeli aggression," the Palestinian organization said. Israel also stressed that it would react harshly in the event of violations.
A high-ranking Egyptian delegation arrived in Gaza in the evening to negotiate the details of the ceasefire. The German press agency learned this from security circles. The agreement is also said to be about the release of two Palestinian prisoners in Israel, including the jihad leader Saadi.
Israeli media, on the other hand, reported that Israel had not accepted any terms for the ceasefire. The principle of "quiet in exchange for quiet" should prevail.
Last year, Egypt also brokered a ceasefire between Israel and the Islamist Hamas after an eleven-day war.