Live blog: Gaza under attack


MEE follows events in Israel and Palestine as they happen. Are you there? Got something to add? Get in touch with MEE at [email protected] and follow us on Twitter at @MiddleEastEye

MEE staff's picture
Last update: 
June 19 Jun 2018 10:48 UTC

Gazans leaving UNRWA schools after ceasefire announced

50% of Israel's cabinet oppose ceasefire deal

Israel's Channel 2 reports that 50 percent of Israeli cabinet ministers were opposed to the ceasefire agreement that came into place just over an hour ago.

At least three senior politicians, Interior, Economy and Internal Security Ministers, are known to have voiced their opposition to the deal.

Israelis yet to return to homes in Eshkol

The head of Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel has said he will not instruct residents to return to their homes for the time being.

Earlier, Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said that residents of border communities would not be able to return home until after a decision from Hamas.

Two Gazan children killed just before ceasefire

Gaza's Health Ministry has announced that two young brothers were killed when the car they were travelling in was struck in Khan Younis moments before the ceasefire came into effect.


Ministry warns against celebratory gunfire

Celebrations in Gaza

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of the Gaza Strip to celebrate the start of the ceasefire and what many are calling a victory for the resistance.

Rocket sirens have been sounding in Israel but there have been no reports of rockets falling or being intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

Photo credit: Twitter / @tareqfarra

Photo credit: Twitter / @tareqfarra

Abbas: What is next?

"Are we expecting another war after a year or two? How long will this issue go on without a solution?"


Abbas: Ceasefire includes building materials

Seven minutes ago a complete stop to the fighting came into place, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is speaking to the cabinet in West Bank Ramallah.

"The stop to the killing will come at the same time as the entry of humanitarian, medical and building materials."

"We fully appreciate the efforts of Egypt" in reaching a ceasefire, but we "stress again that Qatar has played a role in this regard."

"John Kerry, US Secretary of State, has exerted some efforts."

"The disaster there in Gaza is beyond imagination. Stopping the fighting was the main topic that was discusses with the Hamas leaders in Qatar."

They also discussed boosting the national reconciliation and the unity deal between Fatah and Hamas.

"It will require time and effort."

"We exerted all efforts" to help Gaza during the bombardment, "because...we are Palestinians."

He called for guarantees that people in Gaza will have enough electricity, that there will be education and sufficient healthcare after the ceasefire.

Senior Israeli cabinet ministers oppose ceasefire

Senior Israeli cabinet members are opposed to the ceasefire agreement, reports Haaretz correspondent Barak Ravid.

Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Lieberman and Yitzhak Aharonovitch have said they are opposed to the deal agreed with Hamas - no vote was held on the agreement.

Mosque loudspeakers announcing Gaza victory

Hamas announces 'victory' in Gaza

Photo credit: Twitter / @samahahmeed

Photo from the press conference given by Hamas officials at Shifa Hospital in Gaza to announce the "victory" in the Gaza Strip.

Abu Zuhri: Today we congratulate the Arab nation for this victory

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri is currently speaking at a press conference in Gaza.

"Today we congratulate the Arab nation for achieving this great victory."

"This is a decision taken by Hamas, and not Netanyahu."

Confusion over start time of ceasefire as Israel agrees terms

Though Egypt was reported to have announced the ceasefire will begin at 21:00 GMT, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a televised address that it would start at 19:00 Palestinian time (16:00 GMT).

Israel has officially accepted the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire agreement, reports Haaretz correspondent Barak Ravid. Cabinet ministers have now been informed. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni had said earlier that she had no information about a possible deal.

Islamic Jihad leader's house destroyed

The house of an Islamic Jihad leader, Nafiz Azzam, has been destroyed in Rafah - two people were reportedly injured in the strike.

Photo credit: Twitter / @sa7arsami

The ceasefire will not prevent Israel from targeting senior Palestinian leaders in Gaza, reports Haaretz.

That guarantee was agreed in the 2012 ceasefire agreement.


Egypt: Ceasefire to start 21:00 GMT

Egypt has announced that the ceasefire will begin at midnight local time (21:00 GMT), reports Reuters.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is giving a speech now in Cairo.


Ceasefire celebrations at Gaza's Shifa Hospital

Deaths continue in run-up to ceasefire

Three Palestinians were killed in an Israeli strike on a group east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

2,143 people have now been killed in Gaza since the beginning of the agression.

Meanwhile al-Majd, the Palestinian news site affiliated to Gaza's security services, has said that "ceasefire has not been announced yet."

One Israeli was killed and two others were seriously wounded by rocket fire in Eshkol Regional Council.


Key elements of ceasefire deal

Khalid al-Batsh, Islamic Jihad official and a leading member of the Palestinian delegation in Cairo, has told spoken to Anadolu about the key articles of a ceasefire deal, scheduled to be announced on Tuesday evening.

  • Opening of the borders and freedom of movement between Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
  • Extension of fishing waters from six to 12 miles.
  • Start of rebuilding process in Gaza

Livni: deal cannot have 'significant political' achievements for Hamas

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that any end to operations must not include "any significant political achievements for Hamas, which is a terrorist organisation which doesn't accept our existence here."

Livni added that a truce must be "part of an overall accord with those who seek peace." 

Abu Zuhri: The way is prepared for the liberation of Jerusalem

"Gaza is victorious today because of our people's steadfastness, and the heroism of the resistance. Gaza can announce that the way is prepared for the liberation of Jerusalem."

Facebook / Sami Abu Zuhri

Hamas spokesperson: Ceasefire agreement has been achieved

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri announced that a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestine has been reached.

"A ceasefire has been achieved between the two sides - we are waiting for the official announcement from Cairo."

Israeli spokesman: reports of a Gaza ceasefire not confirmed

Hamas reportedly agrees to ceasefire

BREAKING: Reports of Palestinians and Israel agree on ceasefire

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators have agree on an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire starting late Tuesday, reported the Anadolu Agency.

93 Gaza rockets fired at Israel on Tuesday

Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday fired 93 rockets at cities in Israel as the latter continued pounding the blockaded strip with deadly airstrikes.

A barrage of 23 mortar shells struck the southern city of Eshkol on Tuesday, 11 of which were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The armed wings of Palestinian factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad both claimed responsibility for firing rockets at Israeli cities and sites on Tuesday.

UNRWA appeals $295mn for displaced Gazans

U.N. refugee agency UNRWA has issued an appeal for $295.4 million to help thousands of Palestinians displaced by Israel's weeks-long onslaught on the blockaded Gaza Strip.

"The agency is now appealing for a total of $295.4 million to support up to 500,000 displaced people, including more than 300,000 who are expected to continue sheltering in UNRWA schools," the agency said in a Tuesday statement.

The agency said that Palestinian civilians caught in the ongoing violence required assistance meeting their immediate needs.

"The most immediate needs include food and non-food items, such as hygiene kits that help prevent the outbreak of diseases," UNRWA said.

"Other priorities include primary health care and psychosocial support," it added.

Scores of Palestinians teargased in West Bank clashes

 Scores of Palestinians suffered temporary asphyxiation due to teargas used by Israeli forces to quell Tuesday clashes near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Israeli forces used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse scores of stone-throwing Palestinians, according to eyewitnesses.

Two more Gazans killed by Israeli airstrikes

Four Palestinians were killed Tuesday in separate Israeli attacks across the blockaded Gaza Strip.

"Two were killed when Israel bombed residential areas of eastern Gaza City," Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency.

He added that two others had been killed when Israel targeted a vehicle in the northern Gaza Strip city of Jabalia.

The latest fatalities bring to 2139 the total number of Palestinians, mostly civilians, killed in Israeli attacks across the Gaza Strip since hostilities began on July 7, according to al-Qodra.

He said the victims included 578 children, 261 women and 102 elderly Palestinians

Tuesday morning funeral of Gazan citizens

Palestinians carry out funeral prayers and mourn the death of a two Gazans killed after Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza City on Monday evening. 

Photo Credit: MEE/Mohammed Asad

Photo Credit: MEE/Mohammed Asad



700 Israeli families ask help evacuating homes near Gaza

Since Friday, at least 700 Israeli families have asked the government to help evacuate them from their homes along the border with the Gaza Strip, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Monday.
It said 300 families on Monday alone had asked the Israeli Defense Ministry for help evacuating them from their homes along the border of the blockaded coastal territory.
This, according to the newspaper, brought to 700 the total number of families to have requested evacuation since Friday.
Israeli officials estimate that 70 percent of the roughly 40,000 Israelis who live near Gaza have already left their homes.