In two days of fighting, 34 Palestinians victims and 63 wounded in Israel. The cease-fire in effect at 5:30 am; just before a missile hit a house in the Strip killing six civilians. The mediation role of Egypt (and the UN) fundamental.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - After two days of intense fighting, and with the mediation of Egypt, the extremist Palestinian group Islamic Jihad and Israel reached an agreement over night for the ceasefire in Gaza. The truce began at 5.30 am and, according to preliminary evidence, there is an atmosphere of apparent calm in the area.
During the night, just before the truce, an Israeli missile hit a house in the Strip killing six members of a family and wounding at least 12, all civilians. Medical sources point out that the total budget is 34 victims among the Palestinians, most of them civilians; on the Israeli front 63 people were hospitalized for wounds or stress symptoms. In two days hundreds of rockets left Gaza, paralyzing life in the south of the country.
The latest round of tension was triggered by the killing of an Islamic Jihad commander (along with his wife) in the Strip during an operation by Israeli security forces. He was suspected of planning and continuing to plan attacks on Israel. Following the ceasefire, the situation in the area seems to have returned to normal except for the isolated launch of a rocket that did not create damage.
The UN special envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov stresses that Egypt and the United Nations have "worked hard to prevent further escalation" in Gaza and throughout the area that "could have resulted in an open war". In a message entrusted to twitter, he addresses the interested parties, inviting them to "show maximum moderation and do everything to them in order to prevent a bloodbath". A senior official in Cairo claims their role was decisive in reaching the agreement.
Musab Al-Braim, spokesman for Islamic Jihad, specifies that "the ceasefire began under Egyptian sponsorship, after the Occupying force (Israel) submitted to the conditions imposed by Islamic Jihad on behalf of the factions of the Palestinian resistance". These include the immediate end of militia killings and firing on protesters at the Gaza border.
By contrast, Israel claims it wants to observe a simple ceasefire, provided that the Palestinian factions do not resume the attacks. "To the calm - Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz emphasizes - we will respond calmly", but there are no further agreements in the program.