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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.

Confirmed Cases: 70930

Reported Deaths: 2043
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5803124
DeSoto379632
Harrison266336
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Jackson241147
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Jones194562
Forrest186557
Washington173945
Lee161042
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Scott101720
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Holmes92849
Yazoo87413
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Lincoln84943
Monroe83955
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Wayne79021
Tate75330
Marshall74010
Union73217
Marion69221
Adams64726
Covington64115
Winston63716
George6059
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Newton56711
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Attala53925
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Chickasaw49119
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Tishomingo4539
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Smith41513
Hancock41415
Jasper4129
Tippah41114
Claiborne41014
Clay40614
Itawamba40410
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Clarke35528
Montgomery3467
Lawrence3328
Yalobusha31810
Humphreys30312
Quitman2751
Carroll26311
Greene26213
Webster25013
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Jefferson Davis2436
Amite2426
Kemper24114
Wilkinson22714
Stone2256
Sharkey2097
Jefferson1977
Benton1571
Choctaw1384
Franklin1372
Issaquena272
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 102196

Reported Deaths: 1825
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13578262
Mobile10747221
Montgomery6999153
Madison555035
Tuscaloosa435080
Unassigned406169
Baldwin374429
Shelby338137
Marshall320738
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DeKalb186614
Calhoun185319
Elmore178339
Walker156265
Houston145913
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Lauderdale121320
Autauga119622
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Talladega108714
Jackson10794
Tallapoosa87879
Dale85629
Chambers84838
Blount8355
Chilton8309
Clarke82710
Coffee7816
Butler77536
Covington75521
Pike7167
Marion59226
Barbour5866
Lowndes57524
Marengo57217
Bullock49311
Hale48726
Bibb4575
Winston45611
Washington45313
Perry4484
Wilcox44510
Monroe4256
Pickens41310
Randolph40411
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Sumter37019
Lawrence3603
Macon34414
Crenshaw3338
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