27 September 2022,   04:58
Israel, Islamic Jihad, say Gaza ceasefire agreement reached

A ceasefire between Israel and Islamic Jihad over Gaza appeared to be holding early Monday after going into effect at 11:30 p.m. local time Sunday (4:30 p.m. ET), writes CNN.

Announcing the truce, a brief statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office thanked Egypt for its mediation efforts, but warned if it was violated, “the State of Israel maintains the right to respond strongly”.

The announcement, which followed shortly after one from Islamic Jihad, came about 50 hours after the escalation began, when Israel had launched what it called preemptive strikes on Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza. At least 44 civilians, including 15 children, and militants were killed in the escalation, according to information from Palestinian officials.

Terms of the agreement were not immediately made public. However, Egypt’s official state news agency reported that in the push for a truce, Cairo was working to see the release of an Islamic Jihad militant captured by Israel six days ago, and ensure a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike in an Israeli jail would be transferred to a hospital for medical treatment.

In a statement issued by the State Department Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the ceasefire.

“The agreement will bring a welcome respite to Israeli and Palestinian civilians and permit deliveries of critical fuel and other supplies into Gaza”, - the statement said.