Islamic Jihad Says Finished for Now, But Fighting Goes On

YERUSHALAYIM -
A ball of fire and smoke rises above buildings during Israeli airstrikes in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on February 24, 2020. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

After a day of escalating violence and the threat of war, Palestinian Islamic Jihad indicated on Monday evening that it has concluded the current round of attacks on Israel.

The Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire starting at 10 p.m. local time, the Gaza-based Dunya al-Watan news site said, citing “well-placed sources.”

Israeli officials expressed skepticism. A security official was quoted in local media saying they have received “messages from various ranks within the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization regarding a desire for an immediate ceasefire.”

But, the official, said, the army will determine its next steps based on deeds, not words. “The IDF will continue to act until quiet is restored to the south,” the official said.

“The al-Quds Brigades announces that it has finished its military response to the assassination crimes in Khan Younis and Damascus,” the terror group said in a statement.

Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

However, a few minutes later, a mortar shell fired from Gaza landed inside a community in the Eshkol region of southern Israel, causing no injuries but a small amount of damage, according to a local official.

The projectile struck next to the town’s perimeter fence, causing light damage to a concrete sidewalk.

Subsequently, the Israeli military confirmed a fresh round of retaliatory strikes on terrorist targets in Gaza.

Approximately 50 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip as of 6 p.m., in addition to the approximately 30 projectiles the day before, the IDF said.

According to the military, about 90 percent of the incoming rockets heading toward populated areas were brought down by the Iron Dome missile defense system.


Updated Monday, February 24, 2020 at 2:37 pm current statements