Israel says strikes on Gaza terror targets halted as ceasefire holds
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Israel says strikes on Gaza terror targets halted as ceasefire holds

IDF is willing to abide by the end of hostilities provided no more rockets are fired by Palestinians, after barrage of 450 projectiles launched this week

Burnt cars sit after a Tuesday's rocket firing from Gaza, in Sderot, southern Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. Gaza officials say new Israel airstrikes have killed a few militants. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Burnt cars sit after a Tuesday's rocket firing from Gaza, in Sderot, southern Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. Gaza officials say new Israel airstrikes have killed a few militants. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Israel says it has completed a series of airstrikes on targets linked to the Islamic Jihadist terror group in Gaza, after rocket fire that rattled a day-old truce.

The military statement indicated that Israel was willing to abide by the ceasefire if there are no additional rocket attacks.

It said Israel struck a military compound, a rocket-manufacturing site and the headquarters of a terror group in the town of Khan Younis.

The airstrikes came after a barrage of rockets late Thursday. There were no immediate reports of casualties on either side.

The situation was calm on Friday, but the truce could be tested later in the day when Hamas, the Islamic terrorist group that rules Gaza, holds its weekly demonstrations along the frontier.

Hamas stayed out of the most recent fighting as both it and Israel appeared keen to limit its scope.

The unofficial ceasefire that began early Thursday ended a two-day escalation triggered by Israel’s targeted killing of an Islamic Jihad commander.

The fighting killed 34 Palestinians, including 16 civilians.

Palestinian terrorists fired more than 450 rockets toward Israel, paralysing much of southern Israel without causing any deaths or serious injuries.

Islamic Jihad announced the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, claiming it had extracted several concessions from Israel.

Israel does not generally comment on informal understandings with terrorist groups and said only that it would halt fire as long as the terrorists did the same.

The truce angered many Islamic Jihad supporters, who held protests across Gaza.

A barrage of rockets fired into Israel late Thursday, which Israel said were intercepted by its missile defences, may have been an expression of discontent with the terrorist group’s leadership.

Unlike in previous rounds of violence, the more powerful Hamas stayed on the sidelines, adhering to understandings reached through Egyptian mediators after previous rounds of fighting with Israel.

Both terrorist groups are committed to Israel’s destruction, but Islamic Jihad is seen as more radical and has closer ties to Iran.

Hamas was set to hold weekly demonstrations along the Gaza perimeter fence later on Friday.

The often violent protests have been restrained in recent weeks as part of the understandings reached through Egypt, and it was unclear how many protesters would turn out amid the latest tensions.

 

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