Calm returned to the Gaza Strip and Israel on Sunday after a fragile ceasefire came into effect, which ended five days of hostilities that left 35 dead, despite an incident earlier in the year. evening according to the Israeli army.
Cogat, the body of the Israeli Ministry of Defense overseeing civilian activities in the Palestinian Territories, announced “the partial and gradual reopening” of the Erez crossings which allow Palestinians to transit through Israel, and of Kerem Shalom, only Israeli crossing point for goods to the Gaza Strip.
“The complete opening” of the crossing points will be possible after further assessments of the situation,” added Cogat in a press release on Sunday.
Despite the ceasefire – which came into effect on Saturday at 10:00 p.m. local time and brokered by Egypt – a rocket was fired at Israel early Sunday evening, according to a statement from the Israeli army, which specified that she had fallen into a wasteland.
This is a “technical error”, said in a press release the Palestinian movement Islamic Jihad, ensuring “respect the ceasefire”.
The Israeli army responded with artillery fire towards two Hamas military posts in the northern Gaza Strip.
The clashes began on Tuesday between Israel and Palestinian armed groups. They claimed the lives of 34 Palestinians, including one killed by a Palestinian rocket on Israeli territory.
And 190 people were injured in Gaza, a cramped territory where 2.3 million Palestinians live, controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas and plagued by poverty and unemployment, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
On the Israeli side, one person died Thursday and 30 others injured, according to the Israeli emergency services.
In Gaza, Israeli strikes destroyed 51 homes and displaced some 950 people, according to the UN.
“We are on the street, there is no home for my children,” Mohammed al-Louh, 69, whose home was destroyed on Saturday in the Nuseirat refugee camp (center) told AFP. .
” Very scared “
On Sunday, Israeli authorities lifted restrictions on the movement of residents living in neighboring areas, who spent several days holed up in shelters due to rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
“We were very scared, really very scared,” Yael, 60, told AFP after spending four days cloistered at her home in Ashkelon.
Israel and Islamic Jihad pledged to abide by the truce, but warned that they would not hesitate to resume hostilities if the agreement was breached by either side.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed the military operation and the ceasefire.
“Today the enemies of Israel in Gaza and beyond know that even if they try to hide, we can and will reach them at any time,” he said at the start of the meeting. firm.
For its part, the Islamic Jihad warned Israel against “any stupid action or assassination of Palestinian resistance commanders”.
At the Vatican, Pope Francis said he hoped that this ceasefire lasts “because weapons will not bring security and stability”.
Arrests in the West Bank
Among those killed since the start of this deadly escalation – the most violent since August 2022 – are six military commanders of Islamic Jihad, a movement described as “terrorist” by both the United States and the European Union and by Israel.
At least seven minors were killed by Israeli strikes, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
If calm has returned to Gaza, clashes have taken place in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967. The army also indicated on Sunday that it arrested in Nablus two Palestinians suspected of having opened fire on the security forces injuring two soldiers on March 25 in Huwara.
According to the Israeli army, the Palestinians fired 1,468 projectiles into Israeli territory, of which 1,139 passed through Israeli airspace, of which 430 were intercepted by the army.