Israel reached a deal with Hamas to bring a halt to the surge of explosive and incendiary balloon attacks from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, the terrorist organization that rules the coastal enclave declared on Monday.

According to a Hamas statement reported by Ynet, the purpose of the “understandings,” reportedly reached through the mediation of Qatari envoy Muhammad Al-Emadi, was “to return calm to the region and prevent an escalation in violence.”

The statement further elaborated: “As part of our efforts, several projects, which will serve our people, will be announced soon and help [alleviate] the burden caused by the coronavirus pandemic gripping the Gaza Strip.”

The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the [Palestinian] Territories (COGAT) also released a statement on Monday evening, saying that the Jewish state had insisted on a stop to the balloon attacks in exchange for an easing of restrictions on Gaza. According to the COGAT statement, if the attacks end, Israel will reopen the Kerem Shalom border crossing to Gaza and reopen the fishing zone along the coast of the Strip.

COGAT warned, however, that “if Hamas, which bears responsibility for that which takes place in the Strip, does not abide by its pledges, Israel will act accordingly” and reimpose tough restrictions.

Despite the understandings and above warning, explosions caused by balloons were heard late on Monday night, according to Israeli public broadcaster Kan.

The understandings come after weeks of arson attacks from Gaza at southern Israel, causing heavy damage to Israeli farmland and nature reserves, as well as rocket fire on southern Israel, spurring a series of retaliatory strikes on Hamas targets by the Israel Defense Forces.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.