The Headlines

Israel eases restrictions on southern residents as ceasefire appears to hold

(JNS) Israeli authorities reopened roads and reinstated train service in southern Israel on Tuesday, as a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Gaza-based terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad seemed to hold following two days of rocket attacks and Israeli reprisals.

Train service between Ashkelon and Sderot stations resumed on Tuesday morning, and the military allowed public travel on roads adjacent to Gaza. Schools remained closed in Ashkelon, Netivot, Sderot and the surrounding regional councils as a precaution, leaving 55,000 children at home.

However, the local councils lifted restrictions on residents requiring that they remain in close proximity to bomb shelters, announcing that they were allowed to fully return to work— including agricultural work starting three miles from the border—and many also lifted restrictions on residents participating in outdoor gatherings.

On Sunday and Monday, over 100 rockets were fired at Israelis from Gaza by the terror organization, approximately 90 percent of which were aimed at populated areas. Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system neutralized almost all of the rockets, but a few made it through, causing damage but no injuries.

Israel responded with airstrikes against PIJ targets in Gaza, and took responsibility for an attack on PIJ facilities outside Damascus in Syria.

Prior to the ceasefire taking effect on Monday, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Army Radio that “I only go to war as a last resort, but we have prepared something you can’t even imagine.”

Despite the easing of restrictions, Israel’s government announced it has closed off all entry points in and out of Gaza, except for humanitarian cases.

Main Photo: The site where a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a a playground in the Southern Israeli city of Sderot February 24, 2020. Photo by Flash90.

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