3 Israeli cabinet ministers oppose Gaza ceasefire

JERUSALEM (AA) – Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Economic Minister Naftli Bennett and Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich have announced their opposition to a ceasefire deal with Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip went into effect at 07:00pm local time on Tuesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed his cabinet ministers about the ceasefire deal by phone. There was no cabinet vote on the deal.

The ceasefire deal includes the opening of all border crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel, which would effectively signal the end of Israel’s years-long embargo of the coastal enclave.

For the past eight weeks, Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip with the declared aim of halting rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.

Since hostilities first erupted on June 7, at least 2139 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and nearly 11,000 injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Thousands of homes, meanwhile, have been partially or completely destroyed by devastating Israeli bombardments.

Over the same period, at least 69 Israelis – 64 soldiers and five civilians – have been killed, according to Israeli figures.

The number of Palestinian fatalities from Israel’s current offensive has now surpassed the combined death toll from two previous operations against Gaza, including Israel’s bloody “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008/09 in which at least 1500 Palestinians were killed over the course of three weeks.

 

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