After two days of intense fighting, a tense calm has fallen on Gaza and southern Israel. A ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) went into effect at 4:30AM on Thursday. Later in the day five rockets were fired at Israel, but the PIJ claimed they were simply the results of the news of the ceasefire not spreading to all their members quickly enough. Whatever the reason, as night fell in Israel on Thursday the ceasefire appeared to be holding. Schools near the Gaza community are closed on Friday, with local leaders being unwilling to risk reopening them and further traumatizing students if fighting breaks out again.
The ceasefire has angered many Israelis living near Gaza. Mayor Alon Davidi of Sderot told the Kan public broadcaster that he “asked that the [military] operation continue for as long as necessary, the important thing being that there is quiet.” Other local leaders also spoke out against the ceasefire.
More updates will follow tomorrow.