Over the weekend, the Israeli military continued airstrikes on what the group claims is an “Islamic jihad.” Several people were killed over the weekend, including children. Both the Islamic Jihad group and the Israeli military lobbed missiles at one another. However, the two groups agreed to a ceasefire, which began on Sunday evening at 11:30 PM.
So far, the ceasefire has held. Egypt helped to broker the agreement on Sunday.
At least forty-four Palestinians were killed over the weekend.
President Joe Biden released a statement on the violence in the Gaza Strip, saying that he welcomed the ceasefire. He also offered appreciation to officials in Cairo for their role in brokering the ceasefire. President Biden referred to the deaths in the area as a “tragedy.”
Gaza’s health ministry says that 400 people have been wounded during the firefight. The Israeli Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, confirmed the ceasefire. He also said that Israel “reserves the right to respond firmly” to any attacks by any militant group.
Israel said that they only began lobbing missiles at the Gaza Strip after threats from the Islamic Jihad based in Palestine. Tensions had risen between the Israelis and Palestinians following the arrest of a senior member of the Islamic Jihad group.
The violence over the weekend is the worst since an eleven-day war in 2021. The two groups have fired at one another since Friday. The violence only grew worse when Palestinian militants began firing rockets toward Jerusalem. While there were no casualties in Israel, Israel lobbed missiles at the Gaza Strip.
The Islamic Jihad said it began strikes at Israel due to the killing of a southern Gaza-based leader of the Jihad group. The death of the unnamed leader is said to have taken place over the weekend. The leader is the second one to have been killed in an ever-worsening conflict in the Gaza Strip.
Euronews relates that on Saturday, leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group Khaled Mansour was killed late that night. A previous Israeli strike had killed another leader of the Islamic Jihad in a northern area.
Israeli officials have taken credit for killing Mansour; they said his death was a “joint operation between its military and intelligence agencies approved by the country’s political leaders.” The Israeli officials said they carried out the strike as a pre-emptive mission to thwart further Islamic Jihad attacks.
World powers are concerned about the flare-up between Israelis and Palestinians. The two countries have a fragile relationship that has been marred with intermittent air strikes or attacks at one another for decades. The chief disagreement between the two countries has to do with who owns the Gaza Strip, and that disagreement goes back to the days of Yassar Arafat and beyond.
Francesca Albanez, a special rapporteur for the United Nations, says that the Israeli strikes are “illegal,” and Albanez has called upon the UN to investigate the actions of the Israeli military.
Albanez also told the Al Jazeera news source that the “situation in Gaza is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis.”
The United States, however, had allegedly said that Israel had a right to defend itself, but Albanez demurred. Tom Nides, the American ambassador to the UN, tweeted on Friday night: “The United States firmly believes that Israel has a right to protect itself. We are engaging with different parties and urge all sides for calm.”
Luz Truss, the British Foreign Secretary, agreed: “(the United Kingdom) stands by Israel and its right to defend itself.” Truss also condemned the terrorist groups involved. No serious casualties were reported on the Israeli side of the conflict; while three missiles were lobbed at Israel, officials say that two of them were intercepted and destroyed before they could hurt or kill anyone on that side of the Gaza Strip.