Tense quiet in most of Israel as ceasefire commences

November 14, 2019 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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A tense quiet descended upon most of Israel on Thursday morning after the Islamic Jihad terror organization announced that it had agreed on a ceasefire with Israel after 48 hours of rocket attacks on Israel.

Bomb squad policemen stand near a piece of rocket which fell at Sha’ar HaNegev Industrial area, southern Israel during rocket attack from Gaza strip. Sderot, Nov 13, 2019. Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS

The ceasefire came into effect at 5:30, but 42 minutes into the truce terrorists launched rockets at Israeli civilian targets in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip.

Despite the fire, the IDF announced that all safety restrictions were removed from all areas in the country, not including the communities right near the border with Gaza.

Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations’ Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, stated Thursday morning that Egypt and the UN “worked hard to prevent the most dangerous escalation in and around Gaza from leading to war.”

“The coming hours and days will be critical. All must show maximum restraint and do their part to prevent bloodshed. The Middle East does not need more wars,” he tweeted.

Israel said that it had conceded nothing in the ceasefire.

“Quiet will be answered with quiet,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz told IDF Radio. “The State of Israel will not hesitate to strike at those who try to harm it, from the Gaza Strip or from anywhere else.”

The violence began early Tuesday morning after the IDF targeted and eliminated senior Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata in the northern Gaza Strip.

In a precision targeting, the IDF hit the apartment he was staying in Gaza.

Abu al-Ata was responsible for many terrorist attacks and the firing of rockets on Israel in recent months and had intended to carry out imminent attacks, including incursions into Israel, the IDF stated.

The Islamic Jihad responded by firing some 400 rockets at Israeli civilian targets throughout Israel.

Some 90% of the rockets that would have landed in populated areas were intercepted by the Iron Dome systems. A total of 60% of the rockets exploded in open spaces, and dozens other exploded inside Gaza.

Only one woman sustained light injuries from glass shards.

Israeli emergency medical teams have treated dozens of Israelis who sustained light injuries while running for cover and others who were treated for shock. No Israelis have been killed by the rocket fire.

A total of 26 Gazans were killed in IDF strikes, at least 18 of them terrorists engaged in firing rockets at Israel, including 13 Islamic Jihad members, three members of the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and two members of the Popular Resistance Committees.

In the last strike on Wednesday night, Rasmi Abu Malhus, a senior Islamic Jihad official who also served as commander of the organization’s rocket unit in the central Gaza Strip, was killed, together with members of his family.

An Israeli official said on Thursday morning that Israel has achieved its goals in the campaign against the Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza and now the terrorists’ actions will determine if the campaign will continue or end.

“Israel has achieved the objectives of the operation. The Islamic Jihad sustained a significant blow, we destroyed many infrastructures,” he said.

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