Calm returns after two-day flare-up | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 26, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:23 AM, February 26, 2020

Violence in and around Gaza

Calm returns after two-day flare-up

Calm returned yesterday after a two-day flare-up in and around Gaza as a truce between Israel and Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad appeared to take hold after initial jitters.

The Israeli military reported no rocket fire from the territory during the morning and AFP correspondents in Gaza reported no Israeli strikes.

The main border crossing between the Palestinian enclave and Israel was due to reopen at 9:00am (0700 GMT) to allow medical cases and foreign nationals to leave, Palestinian officials said.

Islamic Jihad is the second largest militant group in Gaza after dominant Islamist movement Hamas.

As with other Gaza truces, there was no official Israeli confirmation and the army ordered the parents of some 65,000 pupils in communities near the Gaza border to keep their children home yesterday for a second day.

Islamic Jihad fired more than 50 rockets and mortar rounds at Israel after the army killed one of its fighters on Sunday morning. Many were intercepted by Israeli air defences and there were no reports of casualties. One rocket hit a playground but it was empty at the time.

Israeli fighter jets and helicopters responded with strikes on Islamic Jihad targets across Gaza, as well as in neighbouring Syria.

Sunday's fighting was the most intense between Israel and Islamic Jihad since November, when Israeli air strikes killed senior commanders from the group.

That three-day flare-up saw 35 Palestinians killed and more than 100 wounded, according to official figures.

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