May 20, 2019

Israel, Hamas Agree to Ceasefire After Rocket Strikes

Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chief of staff Aviv Kohavi hold a security consulations at the Kirya Defense Ministry compound in Tel Aviv. March 14, 2019. Ariel Harmoni/Defense Ministry/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire on March 15 after a series of rocket strikes occurred the day before, the Times of Israel reports.

Two rockets were fired toward Tel Aviv on March 14 from the Gaza Strip, prompting Israel to respond by launching missile strikes against more than 100 Hamas targets in Gaza later in the evening and into the early morning on March 15. Nine rockets were subsequently fired from Gaza into Israeli border towns; the Iron Dome intercepted six of those rockets. Four Gazans were injured and five Israelis were treated for shock from the strikes.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) initially said that Hamas was responsible for the rocket attacks against Tel Aviv; both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad denied responsibility. The IDF later concluded that “low-level Hamas forces” accidentally launched the rockets, according to the Times of Israel.

Egypt reportedly helped negotiate the ceasefire, although Israel has not confirmed that the ceasefire has been agreed to, Hamas has told the Times of Israel that they’re not interested in any further escalation with Israel; the terror group decided to postpone the weekly riots at the Gaza border due to “public interest” and to prepare for larger riots on March 30 to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the weekly riots.