By Neelam Rahim
Israel and Palestine’s authorities have decided to observe a ceasefire in Gaza from Sunday evening as Cairo proposed after a weekend-long pounding of Palestinian targets by Israel.
An Egyptian security source said Israel has agreed to the truce offer, while a Palestinian official conversant in Egyptian mediation said it would go into effect at 20:00 (1900 GMT).
A spokesperson for Israel and Gaza did not confirm this, only saying they were in touch with Cairo.
Gaza officials said 31 Palestinians, a minimum of a third of the civilians, had been killed. The rockets have paralyzed much of southern Israel and sent residents in cities including Tell Aviv and Ashkelon to shelters.
It’s said the victims had been killed since Friday in Israeli strikes that also wounded 215 people. Israel authorities deny blame and tell the kids were dead on Saturday by a rocket fired by Gaza Palestinians towards Israel that fell short.
The updated count from health authorities within the Hamas Islamist-run territory said six children were among those killed since the beginning of the “Israeli aggression” on Friday and 204 people injured.
On Sunday morning, Islamic Jihad extended its range to fire toward Jerusalem in what it described as retaliation for the overnight killing of its Southern Gaza commander by Israel – the second such senior officer it’s lost within the fighting.
“The blood of the martyrs won’t be wasted,” Islamic Jihad said in the statement.