With a cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants holding after nearly three days of violence, Gaza’s sole power plant resumed operations Monday and Israel began reopening crossings into the territory.
Days of war: Understanding this weekend's Israel-Gaza flare-up
Israeli officials said on Monday that easing restrictions on the Strip and allowing humanitarian relief helped prevent Hamas, which rules the coastal enclave, from joining the latest round of fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad.
The sources said that Hamas faced public pressure not to partake in the fighting so that work permits and the movement of goods would not be compromised.
Similar pressure from Gazans influenced the Islamic Jihad's decision to agree to a cease-fire agreement, according to the Israeli sources.
"Helping the civilian population separates them from those in power," one of the officials said. After Israel's May 2021 war with Gaza factions – including Hamas – Israel has increased work permits for Gazans and allowed more traffic through Gaza border crossings, the officials noted, alongside UN and Qatari relief efforts.
Since the Egyptian-mediated cease-fire took hold late Sunday, Israel also lifted security restrictions on southern Israeli communities.
Beginning Friday, Israeli aircraft had pummeled targets in Gaza, while the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group fired hundreds of rockets at Israel.
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Over three days of fighting, 44 Palestinians were killed, including 15 children and four women, and 311 were wounded, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. Twelve of those killed were Islamic Jihad militants, one was from a smaller armed group, and two were Hamas-affiliated policemen who were not taking part in the fighting, according to the armed factions.
Israel estimated a total of 47 Palestinians were killed, including 14 killed by misfired Islamic Jihad rockets. It said that 20 fighters and seven civilians died in Israeli airstrikes and that it is still investigating six deaths.
No Israelis were killed or seriously wounded in the fighting.