Gaza, Nov 14 (IANS) Palestinian militias in Gaza on Tuesday announced that they have agreed to a ceasefire after two days of escalating tension and firing more than 460 rockets fired into Israel, to which the Israelis responded with 160 airstrikes carried out on positions in the enclave.
The flare-up of violence was triggered by an Israeli military operation near the Gaza town of Khan Yunis on Sunday night in which seven militants and an Israeli soldier died and to which the Gaza militants responded by launching dozens of rockets into Israeli territory, Efe reported.
The joint operations centre of the Palestinian factions said that Egyptian efforts had led to strengthening the ceasefire between the “armed resistance factions” and Israel, with the armed resistance in Gaza committing itself to abiding by the ceasefire as long as Israel also adheres to it.
The factions include the Qassam Brigades – the armed wing of the Islamist movement Hamas that governs Gaza – and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, among others.
Shortly before the ceasefire announcement, high-ranking Hamas sources confirmed to EFE that the truce had come into force.
Cairo, with support from the United Nations, had pushed in the past few hours to ending the worst escalation of violence since 2014 between Palestinian militias and Israel.
During the violence over the past 48 hours, 14 militants, an Israeli soldier in Gaza and a Palestinian civilian in Israel were killed.