Israel and Hamas have reportedly agreed to an Egyptian-mediated truce after Hamas launched hundreds of rockets toward southern Israel on Nov. 12.
According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched more than 460 rockets into southern Israel, resulting in at least 108 Israelis wounded. Israel with 160 airstrikes against Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The Times of Israel (TOI) reports that Egypt led the ceasefire talks; Qatar, Norway and the United Nations also contributed.
“Israel maintains its right to act,” a senior Israeli official told TOI. “Requests from Hamas for a ceasefire came through four different mediators. Israel responded that the events on the ground will decide [if a ceasefire will go into effect].”
Hamas hailed the ceasefire as a bulwark against “Zionist aggression.”
“Our rockets have pounded Israel and sent a clear message: Bomb for bomb, blood for blood,” Hamas official Ismail declared. “If you attack Gaza and our people, Hamas rockets will find you everywhere, in Haifa, Jaffa, Ashkelon and Ashdod.”
The ceasefire has been roundly criticized by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, as well as the Zionist Union and Yesh Atid parties.
Residents of southern Israel communities are protesting the ceasefire, arguing that the repeated use of ceasefire agreements enable Hamas to continue to launch rockets into their communities.