Palestinian Islamic Jihad announces Gaza ceasefire, IDF warns of escalation

February 25, 2020 by JNS
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Palestinian Islamic Jihad announced a unilateral ceasefire in the Gaza Strip on Monday evening after two days of heavy fighting between Israel and the Iranian-backed Palestinian terror group.

Rockets were launched towards southern Israel, as seen from Rafah in the Gaza Strip on Feb. 24, 2020. Photo by Fadi Fahd/Flash90.

In a statement, the terrorist group said it had completed its “retaliation” against Israel for the killing of three fighters.

While the Israel Defense Forces confirmed that it had received messages of a ceasefire, the IDF was still conducting airstrikes against PIJ targets in the Gaza Strip while rocket sirens were still sounded in the Eshkol and Sdot Negev regions near Gaza.

Additionally, IDF chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi warned that fighting with PIJ could further escalate.

“It’s unclear if the incident is at its peak or its end, if it will escalate or die down,” Kohavi said at a military event on Monday.

“I don’t think that’s where we’re going … but a not-insignificant number of operations, even wars, in the past 20 years began like that—through escalation that developed into something much bigger.”

More than 90 rockets have been fired on southern Israel over the past two days, with most either being shot down by Iron Dome or landing in open fields.

The IDF has related by striking PIJ targets in Gaza. The round of violence was ignited early Sunday when IDF soldiers shot dead two PIJ member as they planted a bomb along the Gaza-Israel border.

JNS

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