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After Days of Fighting, There’s a Cease-Fire Between Israel and Palestinian

After three days of fighting, Israel and Palestinian militants maintained a ceasefire overnight.

The truce arranged by Egypt was not broken by isolated weapon fire from both sides in the moments leading up to and immediately following the deadline on Sunday night.

The worst flare-up since an 11-day battle in May 2021 has claimed at least 44 lives.

Leaders of the US and the UN pleaded with both parties to uphold the truce.

US Vice President Joe Biden applauded the cease-fire and urged the parties “to properly execute [it] and to guarantee fuel and humanitarian supplies are flowing into Gaza” in a statement.

He also requested prompt investigation of reports of civilian deaths.

Over the course of Sunday, Egypt, which has previously served as a go-between between Israel and Gaza, brokered the cease-fire.

However, the Israeli military stated that it started attacking Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) targets in Gaza as soon as it went into effect late on Sunday in retaliation to rockets that had been fired shortly before. A few stray rocket launches from Gaza were also reported by Israeli media in the moments following the deadline.

However, as the night went on, there were no new reports of violence.

Israeli assaults on locations in the Gaza Strip, which the Israeli military claimed were in reaction to threats from a terrorist organization, marked the beginning of the most recent hostilities. After Israel detained a top PIJ member in the occupied West Bank, there were days of unrest that followed.

The 44 deaths reported in the most recent violence were verified to include 15 minors as of Sunday evening, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The health ministry in Gaza has attributed the deaths of Palestinians and the injuries of more than 300 persons to “Israeli assault.”

Israel said on Saturday that PIJ militants fired a stray missile that killed many children in Jabalia, blaming the organization for at least part of the casualties inside Gaza.

Concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where health authorities warned that hospitals barely had enough fuel to power generators for another two days, contributed to the ceasefire accord being struck.

According to PIJ spokeswoman Tareq Selmi, “We applaud the Egyptian efforts that had been done to cease the Israeli attack against our people.”

If the truce is broken, Israel declared that it “continues to maintain the ability to respond severely.”

The most recent fight comes only a week after Israel detained Bassem Saadi, who was reportedly in charge of PIJ in the West Bank.

After a wave of attacks by Israeli Arabs and Palestinians that left 17 Israelis and two Ukrainians dead, he was detained in the Jenin region as part of an ongoing series of detention operations. Two of the assailants were from the neighborhood of Jenin.

The funerals of those murdered in attacks on Rafah, in the south of the territory, drew sizable crowds on Sunday. Among those dead was senior PIJ leader Khaled Mansour, the second-highest ranking terrorist to perish. The West Bank city of Nablus has also seen protests in favor of Gaza.

One of the most powerful militant organizations operating in Gaza, PIJ, is supported by Iran and has its headquarters in Damascus, the Syrian capital.

It has been accountable for several assaults on Israel, including shootings and missile fire.

Following the execution by Israel of a PIJ leader who Israel said was preparing an impending attack, Israel and PIJ engaged in a five-day confrontation in November 2019. 34 Palestinians lost their lives in the fighting, along with 111 others, and 63 Israelis required medical attention.

Israel said that 25 of the dead Palestinians were militants, including all those hit as they were getting ready to fire rockets.