The Israeli military lifted protective restrictions on residents in southern Israel on Monday, while Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group reported a cease-fire deal had been reached to end the deadliest fighting between the two sides since a 2014 war.
The escalation had killed 23 on the Gaza side, both militants and civilians, while on the Israeli side four civilians were killed from incoming fire.
The Islamic Jihad militant group, which Israel accused of instigating the latest violence, confirmed that a “mutual and concurrent” truce had been brokered by Egypt. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said Egyptian mediators, along with officials from Qatar and the U.N., helped reach the deal. He said Hamas could still use “different pressuring tools” to pressure Israel into easing a crippling blockade of Gaza it has enforced along with Egypt.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointedly noted that “the campaign is not over, and it requires patience and judgment.”
The intense fighting over the past two days came to a halt in the early morning hours and residents on both sides went back to their daily routines. The Israeli military said that as of 7 a.m., “all protective restrictions in the home front will be lifted.”