Hamas and Israel reach Gaza cease-fire


(JTA) — Hamas announced that it has reached a cease-fire deal with Israel.

Over the past month, Hamas terrorists have launched dozens of incendiary balloons a day from Gaza into southern Israel, sparking hundreds of fires, and burning brush and agricultural land. Several rockets also were fired, including one that damaged a home in Sderot.

Qatari envoy Mohammad al-Emadi mediated the deal, Israel’s national broadcaster Kan reported.

Hamas’ announcement said it agreed to the deal “to contain the escalation and stop the Israeli aggression.” Israel had responded to the Gaza balloons with airstrikes on Hamas military and terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.

Israel did not officially acknowledge the agreement, but announced Monday evening that it would open the Kerem Shalom crossing, which has been closed in recent days to all but food and humanitarian aid, and would reopen the fishing zone off the coast of Gaza to 15 miles.

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