Israel and Gaza militants reach shaky truce

The sides declared the “end of another round of conflict” but vowed to retaliate if “attacked or threatened” again

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have agreed to the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire aimed at ending the five-day wave of cross-border attacks. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF), however, reported sporadic hostilities after the truce took effect at 10 pm local time on Saturday. 

According to the IDF, two rockets were fired at the southern part of the country, where air raid sirens were heard. One projectile was shot down and another landed in an open area, without causing any damage, the IDF said. The Israeli military responded by new strikes in Gaza. 

The reports of limited fire exchange came shortly after the Israeli government and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a Gaza-based group, confirmed the truce. PIJ leader Ziyad Nakhaleh announced the “end of another round of conflict” with Israel on Saturday evening.

The Israeli National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi warned that “quiet will be met with quiet,” and that Israel would retaliate if it is “attacked or threatened.” 

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Israel tiptoes around multi-front war, attempting to maintain a ‘deterrence capacity’

The most recent flare-up started on May 9 when Israel bombed what it said were militant-linked targets in Gaza. The IDF said that the goal of the Operation Shield and Arrow was to take out three senior PIJ members involved in past rocket attacks on Israeli cities. The Palestinians responded to the raid by launching volleys of projectiles across the border.

More than 30 Palestinians, including at least 13 civilians, have been killed since the start of the fighting, according to Associated Press. In Israel, at least two people were killed by rocket fire from Gaza.

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