A fragile truce between Israel and the "Islamic Jihad" and calls to adhere to it |  DW |  08.08.2022

A fragile truce between Israel and the “Islamic Jihad” and calls to adhere to it | DW | 08.08.2022

A fragile truce reached between Israel and “Islamic Jihad” entered into force on Sunday (August 7, 2022) at 20:30 GMT, after a three-day round of violence during which Israeli strikes in Gaza killed 44 Palestinians, including children.

Prior to the entry into force of the Egyptian-brokered truce, the Israeli army announced that it had launched strikes on Islamic Jihad sites in Gaza “in response to rockets fired” at southern Israel, where sirens sounded.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid confirmed that the truce entered into force at 23:30 local time. He said that Israel “thanks Egypt for the efforts it made,” stressing that “if the ceasefire is violated, the State of Israel reserves its right to respond forcefully.”

In Gaza, the “Islamic Jihad Movement” announced its adherence to the announced timing of the start of the truce, but in a statement it affirmed its right to “respond to any aggression.” The truce, which officially began at 23:30 local time, was still in effect four hours after its entry into force, and no serious breach was reported by any party.

An international and American welcome and calls to adhere to the armistice
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, welcomed the announcement of the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel, and commended Egypt for its efforts in close coordination with the United Nations to help restore calm. In a statement by his spokesman, issued Sunday evening New York time, Guterres called on all parties to adhere to the ceasefire, according to the United Nations news site.

According to the statement, the Secretary-General of the United Nations expressed his deep sorrow over the loss of life and injuries, and noted that the hostilities contributed to a humanitarian emergency after “the crossings into Gaza were closed and the power outage affected basic facilities and supplies. They were destroyed or Hundreds of buildings and homes were damaged, leaving thousands of Palestinians homeless.

Guterres reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to achieving a two-state solution based on relevant UN resolutions, international law and previous agreements, and the importance of restoring a political horizon. He continued, “Only a sustainable political solution through negotiation will once and for all end these destructive cycles of violence and lead to a peaceful future for Palestinians and Israelis alike.” Guterres extends his condolences to the victims of violence and their loved ones.

For his part, US President Joe Biden welcomed this truce, urging all parties to implement it fully. Biden said in a statement that Washington had worked with officials in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and various countries in the region “to encourage a speedy resolution of the conflict” over the past three days.

“We also call on all parties to fully implement the ceasefire and ensure the flow of fuel and humanitarian supplies to Gaza as the fighting subsides,” he added. The US President also expressed his regret for the deaths and injuries among civilians in Gaza, but he did not specify who is responsible in this regard.

Biden considered that “reports of civilian casualties in Gaza are a tragedy,” calling for investigations to be conducted on them. Biden thanked his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for his country’s role in negotiating a ceasefire.

The most violent confrontation since the 2021 war
The armistice agreement notes “Egypt’s commitment to work for the release of the two prisoners (Bassem) Al-Saadi and (Khalil) Awawda,” according to what the Islamic Jihad movement confirmed.
On Friday, the Israeli army began bombing the besieged enclave in a “pre-emptive strike” against the Islamic Jihad movement, which it accused of planning an imminent attack. The Israeli army killed two leaders of the movement in the besieged Gaza Strip, including Taysir al-Jabari in Gaza City and Khaled Mansour in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.

The movement, which Israel, the United States and the European Union classify as a “terrorist organization”, confirmed the killing of the two leaders. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid described the strike in which Mansour was killed as a “fantastic achievement”.

The Israeli authorities justified their strike by fearing that the movement would retaliate for the arrest of a prominent leader in the Islamic Jihad, Basem al-Saadi, in the West Bank on August 1, while Awada has been in detention since December 2021.

This confrontation is the fiercest since the May 2021 war, which lasted for 11 days and destroyed the poor coastal sector, leaving 260 dead on the Palestinian side, including fighters, and 14 on the Israeli side, including a soldier, according to the local authorities.

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