Israel and Hamas have allegedly agreed to a ceasefire after two rockets from the Gaza Strip hit Tel Aviv Thursday night for the first time since the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.
Sources from Gaza told the Kan, an Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, that an agreement to cease fire was negotiated Friday “with the help of Egyptian mediators,” The Times of Israel reports. Israel, however, has yet to officially confirm the ceasefire.
Israeli media received information from defense officials saying a preliminary investigation determined that the Hamas rockets were misfires. Hamas denied responsibility for the attacks, saying the two rockets were launched during maintenance work, but it is one of the only groups in Gaza capable of striking Tel Aviv with rocket fire.
Tel Aviv’s Iron Dome missile defense system was activated during the attack and intercepted at least one rocket. No casualties were reported. The Israeli army’s chief spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, said there was no prior warning to the attacks.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) March 14, 2019
Israel responded with warplanes, which hit 100 Hamas “terror sites,” a statement from the Israel Defense Force said. Four people were injured in the response attacks in Gaza.
The terror sites included “an office complex in Gaza City used to plan and command Hamas militant activities, an underground complex that served as Hamas’ main rocket-manufacturing site and a center used for Hamas drone development,” according to an Associated Press report.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) March 14, 2019
Israel’s response reportedly went into Friday morning as Hamas continued firing several rounds of rocket fire.
An anonymous Hamas official allegedly told reporters that prior to the attacks, Egyptian officials in Gaza were holding meetings to lead “mediation efforts” between Hamas and Israel. They left Thursday evening.
There were also protests Thursday organized in Gaza before the attacks by demonstrators upset with the current state of living conditions in the territory.
Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade on Gaza since Hamas took over 12 years ago. The territory is currently experiencing an economic crisis at least partially due to severe sanctions and Hamas’ mismanagement of the area.
Israel’s Knesset election, or national legislative election, happens in just weeks on April 9.