Explained: Why Israel agreed to Hamas’ request to end fighting
A potential calm was reached in Gaza after the Israeli military struck dozens of militant sites in Gaza overnight as rocket fire continued toward southern Israeli communities into early Wednesday morning. Egypt negotiated a cease-fire without Israel, but Israeli defense officials said the army will respect the deal if the calm is kept.
The border area has been tense in recent weeks as Palestinians held mass protests aimed at lifting an Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after Hamas seized power in 2007.
The attacks continued throughout Tuesday, triggering dozens of rocket sirens in southern Israel and wounding five Israelis, one of them suffering moderate injuries. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have claimed Tuesday’s attacks, while the international community has called on the groups to cease firing projectiles immediately.
Live updates (click here for Tuesday’s updates):
10:24 P.M.: UN envoy calls flare-up ‘most serious escalation since 2014 conflict’
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov told the UN Security Council that Tuesday’s events were the most serious escalation since the 2014 conflict between Israel and Gaza, describing it as a warning on how close to the brink of war we are every day. (Noa Landau)
10:16 P.M. Israel’s UN ambassador: International community was fooled by terrorists disguised as civilians
Speaking ahead of the UN Security Council’s emergency meeting on the Gaza flare-up, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said: "If the children of Israel do not sleep peacefully, in Gaza they will feel the powerful arm of the IDF. For a long time the international community was deceived when the demonstrators from the Gaza Strip were terrorists disguised as civilians – terrorists whose sole goal was one thing, to disturb Israel’s security." (Noa Landau)
– The Israeli strike on the tunnel which reached 900 meters into Israeli territory from Gaza