Israel Confirms Ceasefire Agreement with Islamic Jihad Terror Group

By Hamodia Staff

A ball of fire and smoke rises during Israeli airstrikes in Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip, on August 7, 2022. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM – Israel’s National Public Diplomacy Directorate confirmed on Sunday night that a ceasefire with Palestinian Islamic Jihad was to take effect at 11:30 p.m.  

“The State of Israel thanks Egypt for its efforts,” the Directorate said in a statement, referring to Cairo’s role as a go-between for the two sides to end the fighting.

However, rocket sirens continued to be heard in communities near Gaza, as of 11:38.

According to initial reports, one projectile was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system over Sderot.

About half an hour before the deadline, air raid sirens sounded in Beersheva, Netivot and other towns close to the Gaza border. So far, no reports of any injuries.

Israeli authorities had warned southern residents of the likelihood of last-minute attacks before the ceasefire was to take hold.

The IDF said it was carrying out retaliatory strikes on targets in Gaza, without giving specifics.

In Gaza, there were unconfirmed reports on social media about heavy strikes in Kahn Younis and Gaza City.

According to initial reports, at least three projectiles were fired from the Strip, one of which was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system.

Earlier on Sunday evening, as a reported ceasefire agreement was supposed to go into effect, Palestinian terrorists launched rockets from Gaza at targets in central Israel including Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Airport.

B’chasdei shamayim, only minor injuries have been reported, mostly incurred as people rushed to bomb shelters.

The ceasefire was delayed due to Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s demands for guarantees from Egyptian mediators on prisoners and ending Israeli strikes in Gaza, according to Al Jazeera, citing unidentified sources.

In the end, Egypt reportedly agreed to work for the release of Khalil al-Awawda, an Islamic Jihad member who is hunger-striking in protest against his detention by Israel.

The diplomat also said that Egypt will seek the release of PIJ leader Bassam al-Saadi, whose arrest in Jenin last week triggered the current fighting.

The Shin Bet says that in recent months, Saadi “worked even harder to restore PIJ activities, and was behind the creation of a significant military force for the organization in [Shomron] in general and in Jenin in particular.”

“His presence was a significant factor in the radicalization of the organization’s operatives in the field,” the Shin Bet said.

Subsequently, it was reported that Islamic Jihad said they agreed to a Cairo-brokered ceasefire to begin at 11:30 p.m.

Commenting on the still-fluid situation, the Israeli Home Front Command told the public, “It’s not over until it’s over,” and urged them to remain near protected areas.

“The last rocket can cause damage just like the first rocket,” it said.

According to Channel 12 news, two rockets were intercepted above Tel Aviv and one above Ben Gurion Airport. However, the airports authority said that was inaccurate, and  the airport is functioning as usual.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says it has not received any reports of direct injuries from the barrage, one of the heaviest since the conflict erupted on Friday.

MDA says it treated several people who were lightly hurt while running to protected areas, as well as a number of people suffering from shock.

A man in the Sdot Hanegev Regional Council has been lightly hurt by shrapnel from a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, police said

According to police, the man — who required medical attention — lived at a residence for foreign workers, where the rocket struck a courtyard.

Police sappers were on the scene.

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