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Israel's military lifts restrictions amidst reported cease-fire

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-05-06 15:00

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike on the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah on May 5, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

JERUSALEM - The Israeli military said on Monday morning it had lifted all protective restrictions in southern Israel, amidst reported cease-fire that ended two-day deadly escalation between Israel and Gaza militants.

"As of 07:00 (4 GMT), all protective restrictions in the home front will be lifted," a military spokesperson said in a statement.

Following the statement, most schools and kindergartens across the south announced they will resume studies after all of the educational institutions in the area were shut down on Sunday in the wake of the abrupt violence.

The Israeli government has yet to release an official statement about the cease-fire.

In Gaza, Al-Aqsa TV, an official Hamas-run channel, reported that a cease-fire agreement between the armed groups in the Gaza Strip and Israel went into effect before dawn.

Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper reported that the deal was brokered by Egyptian, Qatari, and United Nations officials.

The agreement has appeared to end the most serious fighting between Israel and Gaza since Israel's military campaign in Gaza in 2014.

The fighting included some 690 rockets fired by Gaza militants towards southern Israel, according to the army. The Iron Dome Aerial Defense System has intercepted over 240 of them.

At the same time, the Israeli air force carried out massive airstrikes in Gaza, bombing buildings and militant targets throughout the besieged Palestinian enclave.

At least 23 Palestinians were killed, including two pregnant women and two babies and at least nine militants, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

In Israel, four civilians were killed, at least three of them were Israeli nationals, according to official Israeli figures.

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