Israeli government, Hamas reach ceasefire after series of deadly clashes

Tim Caplan – News Editor

Israeli and Gazan government officials reached an agreement to cease fire on Tuesday, Nov. 13 after two days of the deadliest conflict between the two entities since the war of 2014.

The conflict began on Sunday, Nov. 11 after a botched intelligence reconnaissance mission by members of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). IDF soldiers entered Gaza on Sunday and were stopped by a Hamas official, which then resulted in a fire fight that left six Hamas militants and one IDF soldier dead.

Hamas is the democratically elected government of Gaza. Hamas and the West Bank Palestinian government are unaffiliated. Hamas is a radical Islamist organization that has been designated a terrorist group by countries all over the world including The U.S, Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

Sunday ended with Hamas firing 17 rockets into the civilian communities of southern Israel according to the Jerusalem Post. The next day, Hamas sent over 300 projectile missiles over the border at Israel. Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense system intercepted at least 60 of those rockets according to the “Times of Israel”  These rockets hit the community of Ashkelon as well as other towns surrounding the Gaza border. These rockets wounded nine people and killed one Palestinian man living in Israel.

According to the New York Times, Israel then responded by deploying the air force to hit about 70 different targets in Gaza including the Hamas broadcast TV station, Al-Aqsa.

Three Palestinian residents were killed by tank fire and nine were wounded according to the BBC.

A seven hour meeting commenced with the Israeli security cabinet on Tuesday after statements of willingness for a cease fire came from the political leader of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh. The mediators of the negotiations were the U.N, Egypt, Switzerland and Norway. Several high ranking government officials strongly opposed the cease fire, claiming that a cease fire would be appeasement to terrorists. The defense, education, environmental protection and justice ministers all condemned the negotiations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held strong in his conviction, however, and agreed to the cease fire. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman resigned the next day, stating that Israel was “Surrendering to terror.”  

This is the second violent clash between Gazans and the IDF this year, the first in May during the celebration of 70 years of Israeli independence. The situation is volatile, but for now an agreement for temporary peace has been reached.