Palestine Tensions: Egypt-mediated ceasefire reached in Gaza

Palestine Tensions: Egypt-mediated ceasefire reached in Gaza

Palestine Tensions: Egypt-mediated ceasefire reached in Gaza

One man was killed in the rocket assault on Israel, while seven Palestinians were killed in retaliatory strikes on hundreds of militant sites across Gaza, said by the Israeli army to be "key assets" of Hamas's.

Israel Ziv, a retired general who once commanded the Israeli military's Gaza division, said Netanyahu was running out of options for dealing with Hamas.

Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip announced an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel on Tuesday after a severe escalation of violence threatened to descend into full-blown war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Gaza's militant Hamas rulers "begged for a cease-fire and they know why".

"The resistance will respect this declaration as long as the Zionist enemy respects it".

Hardline Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said on Tuesday he did not support stopping the strikes, announced he will be making a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

"What happened yesterday - the truce combined with the process with Hamas - is capitulating to terror", Lieberman told journalists in explaining his reasons for resigning.

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"At these times leadership is not doing the easy thing, but the right thing, even if it is hard", Netanyahu reportedly said.

Israeli officials confirmed Cairo had been involved in Tuesday's arrangement.

But 16-year-old Reem Khalla, woke up with a feeling of hesitation on Wednesday morning.

Asked why he did not quit after earlier ceasefires with Hamas, Liberman answered: "You can't always get everything you want. Nothing in the middle is going to make a difference", he said.

The frontier was quiet overnight after the most intense round of fighting since a 50-day war in 2014.

At least 234 Palestinians in Gaza have since been martyred by Israeli fire, the majority during protests and clashes.

In all, some 27 Israelis were wounded, three of them severely.

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Observers believe the agreement will hold, but only until the next round of attacks, which have been "postponed".

Multiple efforts to reconcile the Palestinian factions have failed, and with an unemployment rate of 53 percent, Mladenov recently warned of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which he said was "imploding".

"[Israel] fundamentally miscalculated in its assumption that Hamas would not retaliate in order to preserve the Egyptian-led mediation efforts", Rabbani noted.

While many Palestinians celebrated in the streets, in Israel the response was mixed. "This is a political victory for Gaza, which caused this political natural disaster within the occupation", the group said.

United Nations and Egyptian mediators had been making progress in recent weeks toward informal understandings between Israel and Hamas that would ease the blockade in exchange for ratcheting down the border protests.

Alaa Tartir, programme advisor of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, believes the latest escalation by Israel was meant to "retest" the capabilities of armed groups in Gaza, which include Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades.

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