A state of cautious calm prevailed in the Gaza Strip on Monday, two days after an Israeli military onslaught against the blockaded territory left 25 Palestinians dead – including two infants and three women – and scores more injured, reports Anadolu Agency.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Israeli military pounded the coastal enclave with airstrikes and artillery barrages, while Gaza-based resistance factions responded by firing rockets towards southern Israel.
The violence ended at dawn Monday when a ceasefire went into effect.
According to the Al-Aqsa television channel, the truce began at 4:30 AM local time.
In a subsequent statement, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Shtayyeh said the Palestinian government would welcome any effort to prevent renewed Israeli aggression against Gaza.
In an address delivered during his weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah, Shtayyeh condemned the aggression, calling on the UN to intervene with a view to stopping it.
He said, referring to graphic images that have appeared online showing two Palestinian infants killed in the onslaught:
The international community cannot remain silent… in the face of these images of child victims.
During the two-day assault, the Israeli military struck 320 positions across the strip, alleging that the targeted sites were linked to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad resistance group.
According to the Palestinian government, however, the attacks also targeted civilian, residential, commercial and agricultural areas, in addition to sites associated with the armed resistance.
In a statement, the government’s media office said at least 18 buildings throughout the strip had been “completely destroyed” by the strikes.
According to the Israeli media, meanwhile, four Israelis were killed during the two-day exchange and at least 130 others injured, mostly due to “shock”.