After firing more than 110 rockets and mortars into Israel over two days, Gaza-based terror groups have apparently agreed to a ceasefire The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Hamas, the terrorist group that exercises complete military and political control over Gaza, announced that it had returned to the Egyptian-brokered understandings reached to end Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas. It announced that other terror groups operating in Gaza would also agree to the ceasefire as long as Israel would do so too. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, both of which are backed by Iran, took credit for the attacks against Israeli population centers.
Israel did not say that it had agreed to a ceasefire, but that it would not attack unless it is attacked.
“I believe there are indirect understandings with Hamas to end this current round,” Israel’s minister of national infrastructure Yuval Steinitz said on the radio on Wednesday. “There is an intention to close this round.”
The Times of Israel reported that in response to the more than 70 projectiles fired into Israel on Tuesday, and 40 more overnight, the Israeli military said that its aircraft struck a Hamas drone facility, a rocket manufacturing plant, a weapons depot, and other military targets inside Gaza. Israel also said that it destroyed a “unique” tunnel that traveled from Gaza through Egypt, and 900 meters (a half-mile) into Israel. The tunnel, which was intended to be used for smuggling and attacks, was not yet usable when destroyed.
“At end of day, we have taken some very effective strikes against the positions and elements of the terrorist infrastructure of Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” Yossi Kuperwasser, a former director general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, said at a press briefing hosted by The Israel Project. The damage that Israel inflicted on the terror infrastructure of Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups “led the terror organizations to conclude that it is against their interest to continue at this point in time.”
Kuperwasser said that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad “paid a heavy price.”
[Photo: euronews (in English) / YouTube]