Israel reopens Gaza crossings after declaring truce with Palestine

Following an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with the Islamic Jihad militant group, Israel reopened border crossings into Gaza.

After being reduced to about eight hours a day, the opening of border crossings allowed water tankers to supply Gaza’s only power plant and increase the availability of electricity.

In 56 hours of violence that began when Israeli airstrikes hit a top Islamic Jihad commander, at least 44 people have been killed.

Calling it a preemptive strike against an attack the Iran-backed group had planned, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid defended the attack.

Sending residents of southern regions and major cities, including Tel Aviv, to flee to shelters, Palestinian militants fired more than 1,000 rockets into Israel.

Calling the ceasefire a victory, Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala sent a triumphant message.

Despite the conditions imposed on Israel and the maintenance of unity and cohesion, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad in Gaza said the group may have suffered losses in leadership and fighting strength.

Israel was careful to focus on Islamic Jihad targets and avoid luring in Hamas as 250 Gazans were killed in an 11-day war in May 2021 with the much larger and more powerful militant group.

He took no action as Israel continued its airstrikes, although he offered verbal support to his small ally.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 10:45am on Thursday August 18th, 2022