An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in the Gaza conflict came into effect at 11:30 p.m. local time (10:30 p.m. CEST) on Sunday evening. Israel and the militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad had previously announced the agreement separately. Israel had been using airstrikes against the organization in the Gaza Strip since Friday, and the militant Palestinians then fired more than 900 rockets at Israel.
Rocket attacks on Israeli towns continued until shortly before the ceasefire. In the evening, the alarm sirens also sounded in the coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv. The Israeli army also continued its attacks in the Gaza Strip to the last.
Many deaths in the Gaza Strip
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.
In announcing the ceasefire, Israel and Islamic Jihad thanked neighboring Egypt for mediating in the conflict. However, the jihad insists 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 details of the ceasefire. The German press agency learned this from security circles. The agreement is said to include the release of two Palestinian prisoners in Israel, including Bassam al-Saadi, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad. His arrest in the West Bank last Monday preceded the latest escalation.
"Quiet in exchange for quiet" principle
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.
The Israeli military launched the "Dawn" military action on Friday with airstrikes against Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. The group, which is closely linked to Israel's arch-enemy Iran, has been classified as a terrorist organization by the EU and the US. Since then, Palestinian militants have fired more than 900 rockets at Israeli towns, according to the military. 160 of them hit the Gaza Strip itself.
Israel's air force killed two jihadi military chiefs during the military action. According to the information, 15 children and four women were among the dead in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians blamed Israel for it. Israel's army stressed that misguided jihad rockets had caused civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip.