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Cease-fire between Israel, Palestinian militants in effect; Gaza border reopens

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Cease-fire between Israel, Palestinian militants in effect; Gaza border reopens
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Tel Aviv: A ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants that was mediated by Egypt was still in effect on Monday, and crossings into the besieged Gaza Strip were once again open.

According to a spokeswoman for the Israeli army, since the three days of fighting that Palestinians claim claimed more than 40 lives came to an end late on Sunday, no additional rockets from the Gaza Strip have been shot toward Israel.

The official stated that no fresh targets had been struck by the Israeli army in the coastal enclave.

Israel also declared on Monday that border crossings into the Mediterranean coastline region would once again be available for humanitarian aid.

The Israeli military had launched the "Breaking Dawn" military operation on August 5 with airstrikes against Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

Two military chiefs were killed during the operation.

The group, closely linked to Iran, is classified as a terrorist organization by the US and European Union.

Israel Defense Forces said the group had been planning a major attack along the border involving anti-tank missiles and so pre-emptive action was taken by launching a wave of strikes against Islamic Jihad positions in Gaza.

Tensions began to rise with the arrest of an Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank, Bassem Saadi, on August 1.

Since August 5, Palestinian militants have fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israeli settlements, according to the Israeli military, with some 200 hundred of them falling short and hitting the Gaza Strip.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 360 people have been hurt and 44 people have been murdered in Gaza. There were reportedly 15 children and four women among the deceased.

The Palestinians blamed the Israeli strikes. Israel said misguided jihadi rockets had caused the civilian casualties.

There have been no reported deaths in Israel, with the Iron Dome defence system intercepting most of the rockets.

After assessing the security situation, the Erez border crossing and the Kerem Shalom goods crossing were open again, Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced Monday.

The first fuel tanks and humanitarian supplies passed through the border in the morning, according to a spokesperson.

The power supply in Gaza had been reduced from 12 to four hours on August 6 due to a lack of fuel. The Palestinian Health Ministry had warned of major impacts on medical services.

Approximately 2 million people reside in the Mediterranean Sea region in abject poverty.

Israel tightened its siege of Gaza after Hamas took control in 2007, a move that was also supported by Egypt, a neighbouring country.

Israel and Egypt both use security concerns to support the action.


With inputs from IANS


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TAGS:Gaza strip Israel Attack Israel Palastine Ceasefire 
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