- Israel and militant forces in the Gaza Strip were engulfed in a wave of deadly violence over the weekend, resulting in the deaths of 25 Palestinians and four Israeli civilians.
- The conflict is the worst fighting to break out between Israelis and Palestinians since war in 2014.
- The two sides agreed to a cease-fire, a welcome relief for residents on both sides caught in the violence.
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The deadly round of fighting between Israel and militant forces in Gaza Strip that erupted over the weekend has quieted. On Monday, the Israeli military lifted civilian restrictions.
The violence, which reportedly began on Friday after two Israeli soldiers were shot and wounded by militants, is the worst fighting to break out between Israelis and Palestinians since war in 2014. Israel responded, killing two militants, and Gaza responded in turn with waves of rockets.
The reported cease-fire, indicating a temporary peace, comes as welcome relief for residents on both sides. "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," according to The Associated Press.
The AP reported that 25 Palestinians, including militants and civilians, and four Israeli civilians, were killed in the violence. According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), almost 700 rockets rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli civilians. Israel responded with airstrikes on 350 militant targets inside Gaza, The Washington Post reported, and deployed tanks and infantry forces.
As noted by the AP, both sides are wary of another heated conflict: Israel will be celebrating its Memorial Day later this week, and next week will host the popular televised music competition Eurovision song contest; in the Gaza Strip, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan just began, and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the group was "not interested in a new war."
Here’s what it looked like in Israel and the Gaza Strip as residents on both sides tried to stay safe amid this weekend’s fighting.
In 2007, Hamas, an Islamic militant group, took control of the Gaza Strip. Since then Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and engaged in other skirmishes.
In the Southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, Israelis took cover as sirens blared and warned residents of incoming rockets from Gaza.
Tens-of-thousands of Israelis took refuge in shelters, The Times reported. They were also warned not to go outdoors.
AP Photo/Ariel Schalit
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