Palestinian groups, Israeli forces agree to Gaza ceasefire

An Israeli air strike on Gaza strip. (Photo: Twitter)

AMMAN — Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have agreed to a ceasefire after a night of Israeli air strikes that pounded the besieged coastal enclave, while rockets were launched towards Israel following the death in prison of prominent Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan, reported Al Jazeera.اضافة اعلان

The “reciprocal and simultaneous” ceasefire went into effect at 3:30am and was brought about with efforts from Egyptian, Qatari, and UN officials, two sources told the Reuters news agency on Wednesday.


Islamic Jihad spokesman Tareq Selmi said fighting had ended by dawn on Wednesday.


‘Aggression on Gaza’

Hamas had engaged in talks with Egyptian, Qatari and UN officials to end Israeli “aggression on Gaza”, the group said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.


Hamas said its leader, Ismail Haniyeh, held talks with officials from both countries and the UN to end Israel’s attacks, which saw Israeli fighter jets and tanks attack targets in Gaza late on Tuesday, and Palestinian fighters fire rockets into Israel, following the death of Adnan after he spent 87 days on hunger strike in an Israeli jail.


A Palestinian source told Al Jazeera Arabic that the ceasefire was the result of several parties entering talks to prevent Israel’s attack on Gaza from escalating. Hamas also praised the performance of the Palestinian armed groups that had jointly responded to Adnan’s death, Al Jazeera Arabic reported.


A joint statement by factions in Gaza on Tuesday, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, said the rocket fire was an “initial response” to Adnan’s death.


Rockets fired from Gaza

The Israeli military said at least 30 rockets were fired from Gaza. Two landed in the small Israeli city of Sderot just east of Gaza. Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency service said three people were wounded by shrapnel in the Sderot area.


Israeli air raids targeted several sites in Gaza, which with a population of more than 2 million people is one of the most densely-populated areas in the world, according to security sources and Palestinian witnesses.


Issam Adwan, a journalist and resident of Gaza, said he had heard several explosions near his home and refuted claims by Israeli forces that they only targeted military sites and not civilians.


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