An Egyptian-brokered cease-fire forged on Saturday night reportedly put an end to a recent bout of violence between the Israeli military and Palestinian militant groups.
While the cease-fire agreed to by Israel and Palestine went into effect at 10 p.m. on May 13, the exchange of fire that continued minutes afterward attests to its fragility, according to AP News.
Foreign mediators had been trying to put an end to five days of violence that ended the last cease-fire that had been mediated between Israel and Palestine by Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations in May 2021.
Tensions began to rise after weeks of sporadic exchanges of rocket fire. They broke out on May 9 when a targeted airstrike was reportedly conducted by the Israeli military on the homes of three top officials of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, as The Dallas Express reported.
The Israeli military claimed at the time that the three men were behind recent rockets fired into the country, according to AP News.
Both Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued warnings to each other shortly thereafter.
Haniyeh promised that the “treacherous operation will not bring security to the occupier, but rather more resistance,” according to AP News.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu said in a televised speech, “I say to our enemies, every escalation by you will be answered with an overwhelming response,” according to Israel Hayom.
Over the next few days, the exchange of rockets killed 33 Palestinians, including approximately 13 civilians, in the Gaza Strip and two people in Israel, according to AP News.
Alongside the recent aggression, Egyptian mediators were actively engaging with both sides to forge another cease-fire.
At first, these efforts achieved mixed results, with a significant obstacle being Islamic Jihad’s demand that Israel stops its targeted airstrikes.
Ultimately, Islamic Jihad spokesman Tareq Selmi reported that Israel agreed to the request, according to AP News.
Israel’s national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said of the cease-fire that “quiet would be answered with quiet,” according to AP News.
Israel claimed in a Twitter post shortly after the cease-fire that a total of 1,468 rockets had been fired toward Israel by Palestinian militants.
“We will continue operating to maintain the stability and safety of Israelis,” the post commented.
Considering the recurring cyclic episodes of violence between Israel and Gaza, it is uncertain if the latest cease-fire will last. Adding to the conflict are Israeli tactics like Operation Shield and Arrow, characterized by airstrikes targeting militants in Gaza.
One Israeli commentator for the Haaretz newspaper suggested there is a problem with Israeli leaders’ decision-making.
“If the operations were really all that successful, we wouldn’t need them once a year on average, with the time between them becoming shorter,” wrote Amos Harel, according to Haaretz. “The simple truth is that Israel has no concrete solution for the plight of Gaza or for the security dangers that emanate from the strip.”