Update: A 24-year-old Palestinian died Thursday from injuries sustained in an Israeli air strike a day earlier, Gaza's health ministry said. Mohammad Hirzallah had been injured when Israeli warplanes bombed Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip early Wednesday morning. He died in hospital Thursday, the ministry said in a statement. Muhammad al-Sheikh, 32, a member of the Popular Resistance Committee's military wing the Nasser Saladin Brigades, was killed immediately in the same strike. Hirzallah's death brought the number of deaths in Gaza from Israeli attacks this week to seven.
Palestinian militants held fire overnight on Thursday and Israel refrained from air
strikes as an informal truce brokered by Egypt appeared to take hold
following two days of violence along the Israel-Gaza border. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the last known rocket was fired from Gaza on Wednesday at 8.00 p.m.
Israeli defense official said no formal agreement had been reached with
Hamas, the Islamist faction which controls the Gaza Strip, although
Egyptian defense officials had been instrumental in restoring calm." The
Egyptians have a very impressive ability to articulate to (Hamas) that
its primary interest is not to attack and use terror against Israel or
other targets," Israeli defense official Amos Gilad told Israeli Army
Radio. But he added that there was
no direct agreement with the Islamist faction which refuses to recognize
the Jewish state.
Wednesday, Israel killed a Hamas militant in an air strike which it said was intended to stop rocket launches. On Tuesday, Israel killed three Hamas men, saying they had either launched attacks or were about to do so. On Monday Israel killed two Palestinias in an airstrike. Last week Israel killed five Palestinians. The week before that one man was killed and 10 people were wounded in an attack in Rafah.
In southern Israel, three agricultural workers were wounded on Wednesday when a Palestinian rocket exploded near them. An Israeli military spokeswoman said 86 projectiles had been fired at Israel between Tuesday and Wednesday and that the Iron Dome system had
intercepted eight of them. Several homes had been damaged by Palestinian
Israeli schools reopened on Thursday after they had been kept shut in communities near the fenced Gaza boundary and residents were urged to remain indoors.
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