10 August 2018Hot off the Press
Israel and Hamas reached a ceasefire agreement late on Thursday (local time) evening amid an intense 24-hour period of hostilities, according to a diplomatic source that had knowledge of the negotiations.
The ceasefire was expected to go into effect at midnight, the source said.
Egypt and the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has backed the agreement, with both parties leading efforts toward the negotiations.
Both have repeatedly called for peace and restoration of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in previous months.
If confirmed, the truce will be the third between Israel and Hamas in a month.
However, one Israeli official has denied the existence of the ceasefire.
No comments from Israel have been made about any recent progress in agreements with Hamas.
As of late Thursday evening, Hamas has not issued any statements about the ceasefire either.
Tensions between Israel and Hamas remain extremely high, with Israel launching airstrikes on Gaza City, which injured at least 18 Palestinians and destroyed a five storey building that served as a cultural centre and housed offices in the middle of the city.
The fighting, which began on Wednesday, left three Palestinian’s dead in Gaza, including a pregnant mother and her young daughter, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, with further injuries reported in Israel and Gaza.
According to Israeli defence forces, more than 180 rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel, causing rocket alarms to continue ringing well into the early hours of the morning.
Forty of those rockets were blocked by Israel’s Dome aerial defence system, while most of the others landed in open fields in southern Israel.
It is the first time since the 2014 war that a rocket has landed so deep in Israeli territory, state media reported.
It is also the third serious escalation between Israel and Hamas since July, despite Egypt and the UN pushing efforts to secure a long-term truce.