Friday, October 7, 2022

Gaza: Israel, Palestine militants hold ceasefire talks, crossings reopen

Hamas seized power in 2007, prompting Israel to tighten a blockade of Gaza, a move Egypt supports. Both Israel and Egypt justify the measure with security interests.

• August 8, 2022
Israeli soldiers
Israeli soldiers used to illustrate the story [Photo Credit: CNN]

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire to halt a flare-up in fighting by Israel and Palestinian militants is holding on Monday.

An Israeli army spokesperson said no new rockets had been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip since the ceasefire to end three days of violence that Palestinians said left more than 40 dead took effect late Sunday.

She said the Israeli army had not attacked any new targets in the coastal enclave.

Israel on Monday also announced the reopening of border crossings into the Mediterranean coastal strip for humanitarian deliveries.

The Israeli military launched the ‘Breaking Dawn’ military operation on Friday with airstrikes against Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. Two military chiefs were killed during the operation.

The group, closely linked to Israel’s arch-enemy Iran, is classified as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union.

Israel Defence Forces said the group had been planning a major attack along the border involving anti-tank missiles, and so pre-emptive action was taken by launching a wave of strikes against Islamic Jihad positions in Gaza.

Tensions began to rise with the arrest of an Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank, Bassem Saadi, last Monday.

Since Friday, Palestinian militants have fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israeli settlements, according to the Israeli military, with some 200 falling short and hitting the Gaza Strip.

In Gaza, 44 people have been killed and 360 injured since Friday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry on Sunday evening. Among the dead were said to be 15 children and four women. The Palestinians blamed Israel for the strikes, but Israel said misguided jihadist rockets had caused the civilian casualties.

Israel has had no reported deaths, with the Iron Dome defence system intercepting most of the rockets.

After assessing the security situation, the Erez border crossing and the Kerem Shalom goods crossing were open again, Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced Monday.

According to a spokesperson, the first fuel tanks and humanitarian supplies passed through the border in the morning. The power supply in Gaza had been reduced from 12 to four hours on Saturday due to a lack of fuel.

The Palestinian Health Ministry had warned of major impacts on medical services. Around two million people live in very poor conditions in the territory on the Mediterranean Sea.

Hamas seized power in 2007, prompting Israel to tighten a blockade of Gaza, a move that neighbouring Egypt also supports. Both Israel and Egypt justify the measure with security interests. 


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