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Gaza cease-fire agreement reached between Israel, Islamic Jihad

Five days after the breakout of violence on the Gaza border, Israel and the Islamic Jihad reached a cease-fire agreement, mediated by Egypt.
A plume of smoke rises above buildings during an Israeli strike east of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 11, 2023. Israel announced it was targeting rocket launch sites of the militant group Islamic Jihad. Gaza's health ministry said five people were killed, a day after Israeli strikes on the Palestinian territory left 15 dead. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP) (Photo by SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel and Gaza-based Islamic Jihad reached on Saturday a cease-fire agreement brokered by Egypt, with the assistance of Qatar and UN envoy Tor Wennesland. 

The cease-fire went into effect as of 10:00 pm local time (1900 GMT). According to Al Jazeera, Israel has agreed not to fire at civilians, cease destruction of Gaza homes and stop the elimination of individuals. A diplomatic source had told Walla on Thursday that Israel refused to return the body of Israel's Islamic Jihad prisoner Khader Adnan, who died a week ago while on a hunger strike in the Israeli Nitzan jail, as part of the agreement. 

The agreement ends five days of fighting between Gaza factions and Israel. At least 1,234 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza, and Israel carried out at least 371 airstrikes across the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 33 Palestinians were killed including six Islamic Jihad militant leaders and more than 147 injured in the Israeli aerial attacks. One Israeli man was killed a rocket hit a building in the south-central city of Rehovot and 43 others injured since the fighting broke out. A Palestinian man from Gaza, working in Israel, was also killed by rocket fire. 

On Thursday, German, French, Jordanian and Egyptian foreign ministers met in Berlin to discuss the Gaza situation. It was the seventh meeting of this forum, nicknamed the "Munich group," established in 2022 to push for peace in the Middle East. At a joint declaration issued after the meeting, France, Germany and Jordan commended Egyptian efforts to bring about an immediate cease-fire between the sides. ‘’The saddening facts serve as a dire reminder that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs immediate attention to prevent a major conflagration,’’ read the declaration.

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