Ceasefire reached after violent escalation between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad

GAZA – Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militants fired rockets from the Gaza Strip towards Israel on Monday, leading to Israeli air strikes on what was the second day of escalating violence between the two sides.

Early on Monday, PIJ said that they had ended their military response to Israel but later in the day had revoked the statement and resumed firing rockets because of Israel’s continuation of air strikes after what appeared to be an end to the escalation.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that PIJ fired 80 rockets across the Gaza-Israeli border since Sunday, while Israel attacked positions in Gaza and Syria which led to the killing of three members of the movement. The spokesperson stated that Israeli aircraft had targeted a PIJ training facility and weapons storage facility in southern Gaza.

Relating to the escalation with PIJ, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We will continue the attack until we restore stability.” Netanyahu threatened both PIJ and Hamas, saying, “the expansion of the military operation is not just words, and there will be many surprises that were not featured during operations Cast Lead, Clouds Column, or Protective Edge.”

As of Tuesday, the situation remained calm, with a Palestinian official announcing that Israel and Islamic Jihad had reached a “reciprocal and simultaneous ceasefire” mediated by Egypt and the United Nations.