Fractured ceasefire after outbreak of violence in the middle east

Fractured ceasefire after outbreak of violence in the middle east

The israeli air force initially stopped flying attacks. A total of 25 mainly militant palastinians have been killed and about 70 injured since friday. In israel, there were about ten casualties.

The agreement was brokered by egypt, said dahud shihab, spokesman for the militant palastinian organization islamic jihad, in gaza. "But we will only abide by the ceasefire as long as the occupiers (israel) abide by it," he warned.

The israeli minister for civil defense, matan wilnai, also confirmed the agreement: "there is agreement," he told radio israel. "At the moment there is a trend that the situation is calming down, and it seems that this round (of violence) is behind us," the minister added. Israel’s chief of staff benny ganz said: "calm will be answered with calm, fire with fire"."

The most serious fighting since last august was the killing on friday of the head of the radical palastinian popular resistance committee, zuher al kesi, and one of his aides. He had planned a serious terrorist attack against israel from the sinai, it hieb to justify.

Militant palastinians then began to bombard the israeli towns near the gaza strip with rockets and morser shells. They indiscriminately targeted residential areas where about a million people live. According to army figures, a total of 225 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at israel since friday. Israeli missile defense was able to intercept about 85 percent of the missiles aimed at cities. An army spokeswoman said that 56 rockets were destroyed in the air.

Nevertheless, several people were injured and considerable damage was done. Schools in affected regions in the south of the country had to remain closed for three days and many people had to be treated for hysterical attacks.

Israel responded with some 40 targeted airstrikes that, according to palestinian sources, had killed a total of 23 people and wounded more than 70 in addition to kesi and his aides by monday evening. According to palastinians, most of the victims were members of militant groups.


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