Uneasy ceasefire temporarily halts intense air war between Israel and terror groups in Gaza

Rockets are fired from inside the Gaza strip towards Israel on the sixth day of Israel's operation 'Protective Edge' on July 13, 2014.

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Rockets are fired from inside the Gaza strip towards Israel on the sixth day of Israel’s operation ‘Protective Edge’ on July 13, 2014.
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Andrew Burton/Getty Images

  • Palestinian terror groups claimed responsibility for firing more than 100 rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel from Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning in the worst bombardment seen since the 2014 Gaza war
  • The Israel Defense Forces said they struck 25 military targets in Gaza in retaliation for the launches which reportedly wounded three soldiers.
  • A ceasefire was reportedly reached by late Wednesday morning, although Israel says it remains poised to retaliate.

Palestinian terror groups claimed responsibility for firing more than 100 rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel from Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning in the worst bombardment seen since the 2014 Gaza war referred to as Operation Protective Edge.

Israel’s Channel 10 estimated that more than 115 rockets and missiles were launched from Gaza into Israel after the first sirens were heard near the Gaza border at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Other estimates listed the number as high as 130.

Despite the heavy barrage, no civilian casualties have been reported on the Israeli side as its Iron Dome missile defense system shot down many of the projectiles. Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) said three of its soldiers were wounded by mortar fragments on Tuesday, Haaretz reported.

The IDF said on Twitter that it struck 25 military targets in Gaza in retaliation for the increased fire.

“The IDF is prepared for a variety of scenarios and is determined to act against terror operatives.,” the IDF said.

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks claiming it was in response to Israel’s killing of over 100 Palestinians participating in sometimes violent protests along its border since March 30.

“Qassam and Jerusalem Brigades (the groups’ armed wings) announce joint responsibility for bombarding (Israel’s) military installations and settlements near Gaza with dozens of rocket shells throughout the day,” the groups said in a joint statement, according to Reuters.

Israel also imposed a naval blockade on Gaza on Tuesday, and stopped a boat with 17 Gazan protesters from reaching Israel, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Israel’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday morning it believed the fighting had come to an end. Hamas said it had agreed on a ceasefire with help from Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza Haaretz reported.

Israel said it would be willing to respect the ceasefire, with Egypt acting as a moderating force. However an Israeli official told Haaretz that Israel was prepared to ramp up its retaliatory attacks if rocket launches resume.

The Gaza border has been the site of mass protests aimed at lifting Israel and Egypt’s blockade on the Gaza Strip which has been in place since 2014.

Rocket launches from were common during Israel’s war with Gaza in 2014. The 7-week war saw 73 deaths on the Israeli side and over 2,000 deaths on the Palestinian side, according to various estimates by Israel, the UN and Hamas.