A Fragile Peace

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Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip reached a ceasefire agreement this week, ending three days of conflict that began following the arrest of a senior Hamas leader, the BBC reported.

As of Monday, the Egypt-brokered truce appeared to be holding. Israel announced it was lifting its blockade to allow fuel and humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.

The latest clashes – the most serious since the 11-day conflict in May 2021 – ignited following the arrest last week of Bassem Saadi, the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the West Bank.

Israel said it began its military operations following threats from the PIJ, with the country’s military officials saying that 1,100 projectiles were fired from the Gaza Strip during the flare-up, with 200 landing inside Gaza.

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials blamed “Israeli aggression” for the deaths of at least 44 people, including 15 children in Gaza. No Israeli casualties have been reported.

Israeli officials also said it hit 170 PIJ targets during the military operation, adding that a number of deaths were caused by PIJ fire. It said it would investigate the civilian deaths.

The Iran-backed PIJ is considered one of the strongest militant groups operating in Gaza. It has been held responsible for a number of attacks, including rocket fire against Israel.

In November 2019, Israel and the PIJ fought in a five-day conflict that left 34 Palestinians dead and 111 injured. Israeli officials reported 63 injured.

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