Tor Wennesland, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, applauded the Islamic Jihad and Israel truce that went into effect at 10 p.m. on Saturday.
“I am very pained by the deaths and injuries caused by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, notably those of children and women, as well as by the indiscriminate firing of rockets at Israel by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad other militant organizations.
Our sincere condolences go out to the relatives and loved ones of the victims of the violence, Wennesland said in a statement. “I applaud Egypt for its efforts to promote tranquility, and I urge all parties to uphold the cease-fire, he continued.
I anticipate the swift resumption of humanitarian access and all social and economic initiatives to promote Palestinian livelihoods in Gaza, said the UN representative.
The cease-fire was supposed to go into effect on Saturday at 10:00 p.m., but a final barrage of rockets was fired at Israel an hour or so after that, and the IDF responded by attacking three covert rocket launchers and a military post that the Islamic Jihad was using as a training ground. Tzachi Hanegbi, the head of the National Security Council (NSC), expressed his gratitude for Egypt’s attempts to mediate a truce on Saturday night.
The NSC Director made it clear that Israel’s acceptance of the Egyptian initiative means that ‘quiet will be met with quiet,’ and that if Israel is attacked or threatened, it will continue to do everything that it needs to defend itself” according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.