Palestinian Islamic Jihad admits halting firing rockets to occupied lands
Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement has agreed to stop launching rockets from Gaza Strip into the Israeli-occupied territories to restore calm in the besieged coastal enclave.
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“After contacts between the Islamic Jihad leadership and the brothers in Egypt, it was agreed that a comprehensive ceasefire will begin immediately,” the movement’s spokesman Dawood Shihab said in a press statement released on Saturday.
He added, “The Islamic Jihad will abide by the ceasefire if the occupation (Israel) does the same.”
Earlier, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, al-Quds Brigades, said it had fired dozens of rockets from Gaza into communities in the southern sector of the occupied territories in retaliation for Israel's killing and injuring a number of Palestinian protesters on Friday.
It said in a statement "fire for fire and blood for blood," adding, "if the Zionist enemy wants to expand the circle of fire, we are ready to do so and ready to protect our people."
In response, Israeli fighter jets carried out intensive airstrikes on military facilities, training posts and buildings, which belonged to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, all over the Gaza Strip.
The spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, said one of the Israeli airstrikes on the northern Gaza Strip overnight wounded nine Palestinian civilians and badly damaged Rumah Sakit Indonesia Hospital in Jabalia, located four kilometers north of Gaza City.
Palestinian security sources in Gaza said that an Israeli warplane destroyed a 4-floor building in Gaza City and leveled it to the ground, adding that the building was empty at the time and no injuries were reported.
Meanwhile, a young Palestinian man has died less than a day after being shot by Israeli military forces during clashes between a group of Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories.
Qidra said in a statement that 23-year-old Ziad Zaki Akel, a resident of Nuseirat refugee camp, died early on Saturday at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Dayr al-Balah city, where he had been taken for medical treatment.
He had been shot and wounded during “The Great March of Return” protests on Friday afternoon.
More than 210 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Over 22,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
On June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip.
The resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries, garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8 votes against and 45 abstentions.
The resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,” including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
It also called for “immediate steps towards ending the closure and the restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the Gaza Strip.”