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    An Israeli soldier guards an Iron Dome air defense system deployed in the Israeli controlled Golan Heights near the border with Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015.

    Israel, Gaza Ceasefire Reached Starting Monday Morning – Reports

    © AP Photo / Ariel Schalit
    Middle East
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    After two days of fighting, Hamas and Israel have reportedly reached an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire agreement, which was expected to go into effect at 4:30 am local time on Monday.

    Two Palestinian officials and a TV station belonging to Hamas confirmed that a ceasefire had been reached at 4:30 am (1:30 GMT), apparently stopping the violence from broadening into a conflict which neither side seemed keen on fighting.

    "The ceasefire understanding will begin Monday 04:30,” a Palestinian official told Reuters news agency, adding that the agreement was brokered by Egypt and the European Union.

    Israeli officials did not comment on whether a truce had been reached, however, according to the Times of Israel, there have been no new rockets fired since the ceasefire. Israeli authorities also decided to keep schools in southern Israel within a 40 kilometre (25 mile) radius of Gaza closed today.

    The latest reports of air-raid sirens sounding across southern Israel came from the IDF’s twitter account at one and a half hours before the reported ceasefire.

    READ MORE: US President Trump Says '100 Percent' Supports Israeli Actions in Gaza Strip

    Tensions in the Gaza Strip escalated after the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) reported that over 600 rockets, as well as many other projectiles, had been fired from Gaza into cities in southern Israel since Friday. The IDF said it responded by hitting Hamas targets in Gaza. The Israeli military also attacked a building where it said Hamas' military intelligence and general security offices in the Gaza Strip were located. Sources from the IDF claim to have fired on 260 targets said to be housing Gaza militants.

    According to media reports, at least 25 Palestinians and another 125 sustained injuries in some 320 air raids carried out by the IDF against militant targets in the enclave since Saturday, WAFA news reported, citing the Gazan Health Ministry. Four people in Israel died as a result of the attacks, while at least 10 others were injured by shrapnel from rockets, missiles and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip, the Times of Israel reported.

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    Tags:
    ceasefire, Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Hamas, Gaza Strip, Palestine, Israel
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