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Hamas says Gaza ceasefire reached following intense fighting with Israel

Hamas said Wednesday that Palestinian militant groups would agree to a ceasefire if Israel also agreed to abide by on...

Posted: May 30, 2018 3:58 PM
Updated: May 30, 2018 3:58 PM

Hamas said Wednesday that Palestinian militant groups would agree to a ceasefire if Israel also agreed to abide by one, following the biggest exchange of fire in Gaza since the 2014 war there.

The comments, made by a member of Hamas' political bureau, Khalil Al Hayya, came after militants launched what the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) described as the biggest barrage of rocket and mortar fire from the coastal enclave in years.

The IDF said it counted more than 100 launches from Gaza, and it responded with more than 60 airstrikes on targets in the enclave.

Al Hayya said in a statement early Wednesday that there had been considerable mediation efforts -- an apparent reference to Egyptian-led talks -- resulting in "a consensus to return to the ceasefire understandings of the Gaza Strip."

"The resistance factions are committed [to the ceasefire], as long as the Occupation does the same," added Al Hayya, using the militant groups' term for Israel.

Israel's Intelligence Minister Israel Katz dismissed suggestions of an agreement. "There is no ceasefire," he told Israeli radio Wednesday morning, adding, "there is a clear Israeli policy not to allow shooting, attacks and violence against Israeli citizens."

IDF spokesman Lt. Col Jonathan Conricus told CNN the Israeli military was not aware of any kind of ceasefire either, but added that "quiet will most likely be met with quiet."

If militants relaunch attacks on Israel, he said, "terror will be met with a very strong response."

There have been no reports of launches or strikes from either side since 5 a.m. local on Wednesday, suggesting a de facto ceasefire had taken hold even if there was no formal agreement.

UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting

By Wednesday, the IDF said it had launched more than 60 airstrikes targeting the militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In its final sortie, in the early hours of Wednesday, the IDF said it took aim at "sheds of drones used for terror purposes, a rocket manufacturing workshop, advanced naval weaponry, military compounds, training facilities and a munitions manufacturing site."

The IDF said more than 100 mortars and rockets had been fired out of Gaza during the course of Tuesday, all of them either intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system, or landing in Israel. One mortar hit a kindergarten yard just an hour before it was due to open for the day.

Israel said three of its soldiers were injured, two lightly and a third moderately, in the militant fire.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed joint responsibility for the attacks.

In a statement issued by the militant groups' armed wings, the Al-Qassam Brigades and the Al-Quds Brigades respectively, the two groups blamed Israel for starting the latest round of aggression and said they had cooperated in launching the attacks because Israel's "crimes could not be tolerated in any way."

The IDF's Conricus told CNN Israel was adamant it had not instigated the latest round of violence. "We are not the ones who fired on Gaza first," he said.

The confrontations came after weeks of Palestinian protests, known as the Great March of Return, near the fence that separates Gaza and Israel, during which more than 100 protesters were killed by Israeli fire.

An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, called by the United States, was expected to take place Wednesday to "discuss the latest attacks on Israel out of the Gaza Strip by Hamas and other militants," said the US Mission to the UN in a statement.

"The recent attacks out of Gaza are the largest we have seen since 2014. Mortars fired by Palestinian militants hit civilian infrastructure, including a kindergarten. The Security Council should be outraged and respond to this latest bout of violence directed at innocent Israeli civilians, and the Palestinian leadership needs to be held accountable for what they're allowing to happen in Gaza," US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, according to the statement.

There were no reports of any fatalities or injuries arising from Israel's airstrikes from either the Palestinian Ministry of Health or from the militant groups themselves.

Israel and the United States consider Hamas a terrorist organization.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295295

Reported Deaths: 6724
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19672230
Hinds18799386
Harrison16710278
Rankin12685264
Jackson12592226
Lee9687160
Madison9457199
Jones7962146
Forrest7208136
Lauderdale6833226
Lowndes6022137
Lamar588080
Lafayette5733113
Washington5218130
Bolivar4609123
Oktibbeha441393
Panola430394
Pearl River4167130
Warren4129114
Pontotoc408869
Marshall403192
Monroe3989126
Union395374
Neshoba3807168
Lincoln3541102
Hancock347374
Leflore3375118
Sunflower318386
Tate302474
Pike300195
Scott293870
Alcorn291861
Itawamba289975
Yazoo289262
Tippah278765
Copiah277857
Coahoma277568
Simpson274878
Prentiss269758
Wayne253841
Marion252678
Leake252471
Covington248879
Grenada247377
Adams234377
George231745
Newton229652
Winston221675
Jasper213445
Tishomingo212365
Attala206569
Chickasaw201151
Holmes182270
Clay179150
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170539
Clarke169371
Calhoun157828
Smith152731
Yalobusha144836
Greene127633
Walthall124140
Noxubee122829
Montgomery122438
Perry121634
Lawrence120321
Carroll118225
Amite111533
Webster110630
Jefferson Davis101731
Tunica99023
Claiborne98429
Benton93324
Humphreys92827
Kemper90223
Quitman77114
Franklin76119
Choctaw69516
Jefferson62527
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 493769

Reported Deaths: 9931
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson710731374
Mobile36139727
Madison32425455
Tuscaloosa24184410
Montgomery22586500
Shelby21968215
Baldwin19758283
Lee14967153
Morgan13667251
Calhoun13300286
Etowah13184319
Marshall11262209
Houston10104261
Elmore9385185
Limestone9363134
Cullman8897181
St. Clair8827223
Lauderdale8607211
DeKalb8459175
Talladega7523163
Walker6524255
Jackson6495102
Autauga627091
Blount6102127
Colbert6004118
Coffee5249102
Dale4642107
Russell404930
Franklin399177
Covington3960106
Chilton3876100
Escambia377672
Tallapoosa3588142
Clarke343650
Chambers3413110
Dallas3403141
Pike293472
Lawrence283484
Marion281995
Winston246867
Bibb245060
Geneva239970
Marengo236455
Pickens224654
Barbour211651
Hale210568
Fayette200756
Butler196866
Henry182441
Cherokee177038
Monroe166139
Randolph163740
Washington156535
Crenshaw144854
Clay144454
Macon142043
Cleburne137839
Lamar132833
Lowndes131151
Wilcox121825
Bullock116936
Conecuh106724
Perry105627
Sumter98531
Coosa88923
Greene88232
Choctaw55123
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