After heavy rocket fire on Israel and Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip, the radical Islamic Hamas unilaterally announced a ceasefire. A spokesman said that Egypt has mediated the return to an agreement. This should take effect immediately. There is no confirmation from the Israeli side.
Militant Palestinians fired numerous rockets into the Israeli border area in the evening – apparently even after the ceasefire was announced. In several towns around the Gaza Strip, the alarm sirens were howling, as Israel’s army announced. In the border town of Sderot, according to media reports, a house was hit directly. But nobody was hurt.
Troop reinforcements and air strikes
The clashes intensified in the early morning, when a rocket hit the center of Israel and injured seven people. Israel responded by announcing troop reinforcements and air strikes. According to Hamas, the office of Hamas leader Ismail Hanija was destroyed. Hanija had previously gone to safety.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during his visit to the US that Israel was „emphatically“ repudiating. „Israel will not tolerate that, I will not tolerate it,“ said Netanyahu at a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington.
He has a message for the enemies of Israel: „We will do whatever we have to do to defend our people and defend our state.“ Netanyahu shortened because of the rocket fire his visit to the United States.
Conflict between Israel and Gaza again aggravated
The conflict between Israel and Gaza-ruling Hamas had recently come to a head. It was not until March 14 that two missiles had been fired from the Gaza Strip towards Tel Aviv. There were no victims or damages. Israel responded to this and further rocket attacks claiming it was bombing around 100 Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip.
Israel, the EU and the US classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. More than a decade ago, Israel imposed a blockade over the coastal area, which is being supported by Egypt. Both countries justify this with security interests. In Gaza, around two million people live in difficult conditions. There is a lack of drinking water and electricity, among other things.