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Full-Scale Gaza War Averted, For Now; Nov. 13 Ceasefire Accepted

Nov. 13, 2018 (EIRNS)—Al Jazeera reported today that Palestinian groups in Gaza have accepted a ceasefire after two days of air strikes by the Israeli air force. The latest round of violence between Hamas and Israeli forces was set off on Sunday night, Nov. 11, when an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) special operation inside Gaza went wrong and ended up engaging in a fire fight with Hamas forces, killing one Israeli officer, wounding another, and killing seven Palestinians. The IDF team managed to withdraw back to Israel under cover of air strikes. Hamas retaliated by launching of barrage of more than 400 rockets into Israel, including dozens as far away as Ashkelon. The IDF responded with more air strikes, claiming to have hit 160 Hamas targets inside Gaza. Seven more Palestinians were reported to have been killed in Israeli air strikes

According to Al Jazeera, the Gaza groups issued a statement saying: “Egypt’s efforts have been able to achieve a ceasefire between the resistance and the Zionist enemy. The resistance will respect this declaration as long as the Zionist enemy respects it.”

In Israel, the security cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met for seven hours and apparently decided to accept the Palestinian ceasefire, though, according to a report in the Times of Israel, citing Channel 10 News, four ministers, including Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, opposed the decision, but they did not force a vote. The IDF was reported to be maintaining armed aircraft over Gaza and continuing to gather armor and infantry outside the border wall.

Prior to this latest flare-up in violence, Egypt and UN mediator Nikolai Mladenov had been engaged in an intensive effort to mediate a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, as well as trying to find a solution to the dispute between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Where that effort stands now, in the wake of today’s fighting, remains to be seen.

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