Gaza ceasefire holds after two-day flare-up, protests expected

Smoke rises after an Israeli aircraft bombed a multi-storey building in Gaza City August 9, 2018. (Reuters)

The Israel-Gaza border was quiet on Friday after an Egyptian-brokered truce ended a surge in violence that had shaken southern Israel and the Gaza Strip for two days.

But the ceasefire will face its first test later in the day, as Palestinians in Gaza planned on resuming weekly border protests, which at times have become violent.

After a quiet night, Israel’s military told residents in the south, who had spent much of the past two days in rocket shelters, they could return to their daily routines.

A rise in cross-border rockets and air strikes in recent weeks has prompted the UN and Egypt to try to broker a truce to prevent another all-out conflict.

Since the escalation on Wednesday, Palestinian militants fired scores of rockets including a long-range missile deep into Israel and Israeli aircraft struck more than 150 targets in Gaza.

A pregnant Palestinian woman and her 18-month-old child were killed in the Israeli attacks, as was a Hamas militant. Seven people were wounded by Palestinian rockets and mortars that struck Israel.

Palestinian officials said a truce had been reached with Egyptian mediation. There was no formal comment from Israel, which rarely acknowledges reaching any such agreement with Hamas.

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Last Update: 06:52 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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