Relative Calm in Gaza as Cease-Fire Takes Hold

Israel Gave No Guarantees

by Jason Ditz, March 13, 2012

Update: Israel almost immediately broke the cease-fire Wednesday as it fired two missiles into Gaza. No casualties were reported.

After four days of Israeli air strikes which killed 26 Palestinians, relative calm prevailed today as Egypt managed to negotiate a temporary cease-fire between Israel’s military and various Palestinian militant factions.

The cease-fire does not appear to have much behind it, however, as Israeli officials confirmed that Egypt tried to convince them to promise not to launch future assassination campaigns against Gaza, but dropped the demand when Israel spurned it. “There were no guarantees and no other promises,” according to one top Israeli military official.

Still, the deal reduces the chances of Israel launching a full-scale ground invasion, something officials had repeatedly suggested yesterday. Those familiar with the situation expressed surprise at how quickly the deal was put together.

The four days of attacks began with Israel assassinating a top member of the Popular Resistance Committees, which responded with several rocket attacks. This led to more Israeli air strikes and more rockets over the next several days, though no Israelis appear to have been killed in what officials say were 300 rocket attacks.

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