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: 145636

Reported Deaths: 3745
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto963299
Hinds9584195
Harrison6848109
Jackson6124118
Rankin528598
Lee484295
Madison4633105
Forrest368186
Jones345287
Lauderdale3350143
Lafayette315049
Washington3097107
Lamar281849
Oktibbeha239261
Bolivar239083
Lowndes228863
Neshoba2164115
Panola211749
Marshall208350
Leflore200890
Pontotoc194728
Monroe190277
Sunflower189755
Lincoln186165
Warren172257
Tate164251
Union160925
Pike160458
Copiah158940
Yazoo151239
Scott150229
Itawamba147634
Coahoma147443
Pearl River144467
Simpson144253
Alcorn143925
Prentiss140429
Grenada136945
Adams136548
Leake131843
Holmes124961
George122224
Tippah121530
Covington117636
Winston116624
Wayne115823
Hancock114139
Marion111046
Attala107833
Tishomingo106142
Newton102729
Chickasaw102432
Tallahatchie95527
Clarke88553
Clay87027
Jasper81122
Walthall75028
Stone72414
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71613
Carroll70614
Lawrence70214
Yalobusha69427
Noxubee69217
Smith68816
Perry65225
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54217
Humphreys52618
Amite51214
Benton48417
Quitman4796
Webster42014
Kemper40917
Wilkinson38622
Jefferson33811
Franklin3235
Choctaw3077
Sharkey30617
Issaquena1114
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
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