Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militant group in the Gaza Strip arrived at ceasefire on Saturday, which put an end to five days of fighting that resulted in approximately 33 Palestinian casualties and two Israeli casualties. The ceasefire went into effect at approximately 10:00 PM local time. As of Sunday morning, the ceasefire has appeared to hold.
Fighting broke out Tuesday when Israel conducted airstrikes targeting PIJ. The airstrikes ultimately killed three senior PIJ commanders, however, numerous civilian homes were also impacted by the strikes.
Other nation states have expressed relief toward the ceasefire agreement. UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly stated he welcomed the ceasefire. Looking ahead, Cleverly said, “The ceasefire must now be honoured to prevent the loss of further civilian life.” The US also welcomed the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with US Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stating, “We are grateful for the critical diplomatic efforts of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and senior Egyptian officials, as well as Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar.”
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland also welcomed the ceasefire, while also noting the loss of life and injuries from the fighting. “I call on all sides to observe the ceasefire,” Wennesland said, “I look forward to the immediate restoration of humanitarian access and all social and economic measures to support Palestinian livelihoods in Gaza.”
The Israel-Palestine conflict has been ongoing since 2006 when another Islamic militant group, Hamas, seized control of a portion of Gaza.