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Palestinians Agree to Ceasefire if Israel Does


Palestinians look out of their house that was damaged in an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City, Nov. 13, 2018.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas said Tuesday it will accept an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire agreement if Israel does the same.

But Israel’s government did not appear to signal its readiness, with its U.N. ambassador telling reporters in New York ahead of an emergency Security Council meeting late Tuesday on the escalation that, “We take action to protect our people and will continue to do that.”

Israeli envoy Danny Danon said Hamas militants had launched 460 rockets into Israel between Monday and Tuesday.

“If it will not be quiet in Israel, it will not be quiet in Gaza,” he warned.

The reports of a cease-fire came after Hamas launched a near-constant barrage of rockets late Monday at southern Israel, sending hundreds of thousands of people to bomb shelters. Israel responded with more than 100 airstrikes on Gaza.

The latest violence followed an unsuccessful Israeli raid Sunday on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that left one Israeli officer and seven Palestinians dead.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this aggression by Israel,” Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters. “They are the ones who precipitated this round of violence for the last 48 hours,” he added, referring to the military raid.

A man is silhouetted as he stands near a house damaged by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, Nov. 13, 2018.
A man is silhouetted as he stands near a house damaged by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, Nov. 13, 2018.

Israeli medical services reported one person was killed during the Hamas rocket barrage. The military said 100 missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

On the Palestinian side of the border, officials said the Israeli airstrikes killed three people, including two militants, and wounded nine others.

Israeli warplanes also destroyed the premises of Hamas's Al-Aqsa Television. Staff at the office evacuated before the attack, following a warning by Israel's military.

The United States condemned Hamas for the violence.

"We stand with Israel as it defends itself against these attacks," U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted. "This violence prevents any real help for the people of Gaza."

U.N. Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov called the escalation "extremely dangerous" and said on Twitter "restraint must be shown by all.”

The Israeli military has given few details about its mission Sunday into Gaza, saying only that it was "not intended to kill or abduct terrorists, but to strengthen Israeli security."

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