Islamic Jihad Declares Ceasefire After Firing 30 Rockets at Israel, Massive Retaliation

Smoke from Israeli bombardment in Gaza

Smoke from Israeli bombardment in Gaza

Israeli aircraft have struck dozens of "militant sites" across the Gaza Strip as Palestinians fired some 30 rockets into Israel in the heaviest exchange of fire between the bitter enemies in several weeks.

An Israeli military spokesman on Saturday accused Iran of orchestrating a rocket barrage from Gaza into Israel, saying Gaza militants were carrying out the launches "under guidance, instructions and incentives" given by the Islamic Republic.

The armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the second largest militant group in Gaza, threatened to continue the rocket fire on Saturday.

"After contacts between the Islamic Jihad leadership and the brothers in Egypt it was agreed that a comprehensive ceasefire will begin immediately", spokesman Daoud Shehab said.

According to the IDF press service, the Israeli Air Force attacked eight sites belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement in response to the latest rocket attacks from Gaza.

At the same time, the IDF spokesperson Ronen Manelis claimed that Damascus and the Iranian Quds Force directed the Hamas rockets that recently targeted Israel.

According to the Axios report, Israeli officials said Greenblatt plans to stay in Israel for close to a week and meet with a number of senior officials, in addition to Netanyahu.

In response the Israeli army carried out air strikes on around 20 Hamas targets in Gaza.

The Israeli army said it was a major headquarters of Hamas.

There has been no immediate comment from Israel on truce.

Palestinians gather at the Israel-Gaza fence during a protest calling for lifting the blockade on Gaza, in Gaza, October 26, 2018.

Sirens were heard in Israeli settlements near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone because of the rockets fired from Gaza.

The biggest rocket attacks in months came despite talk of progress towards an Egyptian-brokered deal to end months of often violent protests along the border in return for an easing of Israel's crippling 11-year blockade.

About two million Palestinians are packed into the Gaza Strip, which is in a deep economic crisis.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more wounded by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone since such rallies began on March 30.

Israel says it keeps a naval blockade and tight control of its land crossings with the enclave for security reasons.

Throughout the seven-year war, Israel has already carried out scores of airstrikes in Syria, mostly against suspected Iranian weapons shipments to Hezbollah but also against the Iranians themselves.

Oman's foreign affairs minister Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah said on Saturday the sultanate was offering ideas to help Israel and the Palestinians come together but was not acting as mediator.

US President Donald Trump's Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt is slated to visit Israel in the coming week, notwithstanding the lack of a firm release date for the president's "deal of the century" peace plan.

Latest News