Israel-Gaza Truce Breaks Down Within 24 Hours

Israeli jets have struck Islamic Jihad targets in response to rocket fire from Gaza. An unofficial cease-fire had been declared after two days of intense fighting.

A fragile cease-fire between Israel and militants in Gaza broke down early Friday less than 24 hours after a truce was declared to end one of the biggest flare ups in violence in years.

The Israeli Defence Forces said Friday they had struck Islamic Jihad targets in the coastal enclave in response to cross-border rocket fire.

Islamic Jihad fired five rockets from Gaza into Israel several hours after the early Thursday morning truce went into effect.

What were the terms of the truce?

The Egyptian brokered cease-fire envisioned Islamic Jihad halting rocket attacks, while Israel would cease targeted assassinations, often deadly live fire against weekly Gaza protests along the border fence, and easing a 12-year-old Israeli blockade that has devastated Gaza’s economy.

Israeli officials said they had made no concessions.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers have so far stayed out of the fray between Iran-backed Islamic Jihad and Israel.

What caused violence to flare up initially?

Israel killed an Islamic Jihad field commander in Gaza on Tuesday, sparking a barrage of retaliatory fire and Israeli airstrikes.

Gaza health officials have put the death toll from Israeli strikes at 34 Palestinians, at least a third of whom are civilians. Among the dead are women and children. At least 111 Palestinians have been wounded.

Islamic Jihad militants fired nearly 450 rockets at Israel, 90% of which were intercepted by its Iron Dome defence system. No Israelis have died.

This article was originally published on DW.