The escalation of violence in southern Israel over the past two weeks has come to an end after a cease-fire was reached between Israel and the Gaza Strip-based terror organizations, Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen satellite network reported on Monday.
According to the report, the truce, mediated by Egypt, went into effect Sunday night.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad issued a swift denial. “We know of no truce with the occupation. There is, however, an Egyptian effort to reach cease-fire,” Khader Habib, head of the organization in the Gaza Strip told Palestinian Ma’an news agency.
The Prime Minister’s Office also denied the report.
Earlier Monday, Egyptian security forces in the Sinai were put on high alert after hard-line Islamist groups threatened to launch revenge attacks on Israel. Ma’an reported that the attack warnings came in response to the killing of Salafi leader Hisham Al-Sa’adani in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza on Saturday.
The news came after tumultuous two weeks during which southern Israel suffered a barrage of rockets and mortar shells. Israel retaliated by targeting Hamas outposts in Gaza.
On Saturday a Gaza-based Salafi Muslim group, The Mujaheddin Shura Council of Jerusalem, claimed responsibility for a Grad rocket fired on Friday at the southern Israeli city of Netivot.
Late Saturday night, an Israeli strike in Jabalia in northern Gaza killed al-Sa’adani, one of the founders of the Salafi group. On Sunday afternoontwo terrorists were killed in another airstrike on Gaza.
Reports last week claimed the armed branches of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza have formally joined forces to carry out attacks against Israel. The movements claimed joint responsibility for at least 50 mortar shells fired into southern Israel last Monday.
Stewart Winer contributed to this report.
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