Hamas says armed groups in the Gaza Strip have agreed to a ceasefire deal with Israel following one of the worst days in violence since the 2014 Gaza war.
'Senior Hamas official says Gaza ceasefire reached to end violence' >> follow Haaretz's live updates https://t.co/KPEG4DL2U2
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) May 30, 2018
The Israeli government had yet to comment on Wednesday on the offer following a night of air strikes targeting several Hamas and Islamic Jihad positions in the coastal enclave.
— Shehab News (@ShehabAgencyEn) May 29, 2018
Khalil al-Hayya, Hamas’s deputy chief in Gaza, said in a statement:
“A number of mediators intervened in the past hours and an agreement was reached to return to a ceasefire in Gaza.”
He added that the group was committed to it as long as Israel was.
After #Israel says it hit 25 "military targets" in #Gaza overnight, #Hamas deputy chief in Gaza Khalil al-Hayya says ceasefire reached — Israel's Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz quickly denies any truce – via @AFP
— Dylan Collins (@collinsdyl) May 30, 2018
Hours earlier, a Hamas-affiliated Twitter account said the group would return to previous understandings with Israel concerning the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz sidestepped questions on whether Israel had agreed to a ceasefire, but said it was not interested in an escalation towards war.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz sidestepped questions on whether Israel had agreed to a ceasefire but said it was not interested in an escalation towards war. https://t.co/GCocZSb8oj
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) May 30, 2018
Katz told Israel radio:
“It all depends on Hamas. If it continues [to attack], I don’t know what its fate will be.”
The Israeli army said it struck 60 targets belonging to Palestinian resistance groups after a “barrage of projectiles” were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Tuesday.
Israeli warplanes are bombing targets in Gaza.
Israel’s military said it’s in response to rockets being fired from Gaza. There were no reports of injuries or damage inside Israel. pic.twitter.com/Ugrr827aaK
— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 29, 2018
The firing of rockets and mortar rounds came as Islamic Jihad vowed to avenge a deadly attack against its members last week.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas slammed Israel for the burst of violence, accusing it of “escalating tensions”.
“Difficult days have passed in the West Bank, Jerusalem and especially in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli occupation launched a fierce aggression on the Gaza Strip today with rockets and aircraft. This indicates that the occupation does not want peace. However, we want peace and we demand peace”.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Israel's “vigorous aggression" against Gaza shows the occupation does not want peace but "we want peace and we demand peace" pic.twitter.com/hxudLc9QiI
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) May 30, 2018
Tuesday’s exchange of fire came after weeks of deadly unrest in the enclave.
Since March 30, at least 121 unarmed Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in protests near the fence with Israel. Gazans are demanding their right to return to the homes and land their families were expelled from during the establishment of Israel in 1948.
— Ramzy Baroud (@RamzyBaroud) May 19, 2018
Gaza has been under a devastating Israeli-imposed blockade for the past 12 years, severely restricting the movement of Palestinians in and out of the territory of more than two million people.
(AJE, PC, Social Media)