Media outlets in Egypt are reporting this evening (Wednesday) that the Egyptian government mediators have managed to reach an agreement on a ceasefire between Israel and the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization on the Gaza border which has gone into effect.
A political official confirmed that advanced negotiations for a ceasefire are taking place. However, despite the contacts, red alert sirens were heard in the Gaza periphery.
Israel has not confirmed that a ceasefire has been reached, and red alert sirens continued to be activated in southern Israel after the ceasefire was reported to have gone into effect.
The IDF reported earlier that over 270 rockets were fired during the afternoon at the settlements of the south and center of the country. One rocket hit an empty house in Sderot, while another rocket was intercepted after being fired at Tel Aviv.
Alarms sounded throughout the afternoon in the Gaza periphery communities, Ashdod, Sderot and Ashkelon, and also in Tel Aviv, Givatayim, Ramat Gan, Yavne and Gan Yavne. A rocket hit the roof of a kindergarten in the Eshkol Regional Council. The building suffered damage, and there were no injuries.
The defense establishment announced that the David's Sling missile defense system, which is designed to intercept longer-range rockets and missiles than the Iron Dome system, carried out its first successful interception in a combat scenario when a rocket fired at Tel Aviv was intercepted this afternoon.
IDF fighter planes and helicopters have attacked about 40 rocket and mortar launchers of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization throughout the Gaza Strip in the last few hours. The IDF later attacked more launchers and additional positions of the terrorist organization.
IDF spokesman Brigadier General Daniel Hagari said that as far as the military is concerned, the objectives of Operation Shield and Arrow have been achieved. "The purpose of the operation was to kill those senior Palestinian Islamic officials Jihad who presented a challenge to the security stability of the region. During the 48 hours of the operation, the following achievements were made: we attacked infrastructure targets of Islamic Jihad, we thwarted its rocket production capabilities, we thwarted its squads that intended to launch anti-tank missiles toward the State of Israel, we killed squads that intended to fire rockets and in the last few hours the Air Force planes have been attacking underground rocket launchers. Islamic Jihad fired in response at the territory of the State of Israel. 25% of its launches were unsuccessful and fell within the territory of the Gaza Strip."
According to Gen. Hagari, "The goals of the operation were achieved already in its first minutes. We in this operation acted in a targeted manner against Islamic Jihad. We attacked those who shot at us and we will continue to do so. Until there is an official announcement of a ceasefire, we will not discuss the matter and are strongly prepared for defense and attack."