Israel army lifts restrictions after cease-fire in Gaza
GAZA CITY / JERUSALEM
The Israeli military lifted protective restrictions on residents in southern Israel on May 6 following international reactions, while Gaza’s ruling Hamas group declared a cease-fire deal to end the deadliest fighting between the two sides since the 50-day war in 2014.
On the Israeli side four civilians were killed from incoming rockets and a Kornet anti-tank missile. One hundred thirty others were injured, according to the Israeli media.
The Islamic Jihad militant group, which Israel accused of instigating the latest violence, confirmed that a “mutual and concurrent” truce had been brokered by Egypt.
Egyptian mediators, along with officials from Qatar and the United Nations, helped reach the deal, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointedly noted that “the campaign is not over, and it requires patience and judgment.”
The intense fighting over the past weekend came to a halt in the early morning hours on May 6 and residents on both sides went back to their daily routines. The Israeli military said that as of 7 a.m., “all protective restrictions in the home front will be lifted.”
Hamas’ leader Ismail Haniyeh said late May 5 that the militant group was “not interested in a new war,” and the start on Monday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan likely lessened motivation for battle. Signs of normal life slowly returned to Gaza, with banks opening after three days; schools are to reopen on May 7.
On the other hand, Israel is to host the popular Eurovision song contest next week, and the backdrop of fighting would have likely overshadowed the occasion and deterred foreign tourists.
“To the Gazan people - these terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing but more misery. END the violence and work towards peace - it can happen!”