Gaza ceasefire restored following border clash

A second surge of violence along the Gaza border has been followed by a second ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas this week

A fireball rises from Gaza city following an Israeli air strike on Friday (Photo: BBC)
A fireball rises from Gaza city following an Israeli air strike on Friday (Photo: BBC)

Hours following a violent clash along the Gaza Strip, reports have emerged that a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has been negotiated.

This incident came as the second conflict within the week.

During the flare-up which lasted several hours, the Israeli military said its jets and tanks hit 68 Hamas targets, and destroyed “buildings and infrastructures and revoked significant military and command and control capabilities.”

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) report that escalation began after gunfire erupted along the Gaza fence, hitting an Israeli soldier. He was the first to have been killed along the border since 2014.  The IDF responded with tank, jet, and artillery fire, killing four Palestinians, three of whom were Hamas fighters. The conflict lasted several hours, and at least 120 Gazans were injured.

Tensions remain high as fears of the region lapsing into another war are temporarily assuaged once again. Israeli forces have killed at least 140 Palestinians during protests at the frontier, which have been ongoing since March.

Protest organisers have stated that the demonstrations voice their demands for rights. These include a claim to lands lost to Israel in the 1948 war of its foundation, as well as for the easing of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

Israel claimed that Hamas are covertly coordinating the movement to provide cover for militant cross-border attacks. Hamas denies this.

Gaza, home to 2 million people, most of whom depend on foreign aid, and which has been subject to Israeli sanctions for 12 years, remains fraught with violence, and Palestinian hopes for an independent state continue to dwindle.

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