A ceasefire was agreed on 14 November between Israel and the Islamic Jihad group in Gaza after the assassination of an Islamic Jihad leader and his wife at their home in Gaza and a subsequent 48-hour spike in violence across the Israel-Gaza boundary.

Thirty-four Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes during this period, among them eight children. No Israelis died.

The ceasefire came with Egyptian mediation, according to Islamic Jihad spokesman Musab al-Berim.

The violence, which saw militants lobby rockets into Israel, was sparked by the 12 November assassination-by-missile of Baha Abu al-Ata and his wife, Asma, in their home.

The assassination in Gaza came almost simultaneously as the attempted assassination of another Islamic Jihad leader, Akram al-Ajouri, in Damascus.

That attack caused the death of al-Ajouri’s son Muath, and a granddaughter, Batoul.

The deadliest single incident in the 48 hours of bombardment occurred soon before the truce took effect on 14 November. Eight people from the al-Sawarka family – five of them children – were killed and 13 injured when Israel fired four missiles at homes in central Gaza.

Nearly half that fatalities in Gaza were civilians, including eight children and three women.

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19th March 2020

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