Hamas Kills IDF Soldier, Declares Ceasefire

“A time for loving and a time for hating; A time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:8 (The Israel Bible™)

IDF Staff Sgt. Aviv Levi was killed on Friday by sniper fire from Gaza making him the first IDF casualty on the southern border since the 2014 war.

Hadashot News reported that Levi was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time he was shot in the chest but he was seriously wounded and his condition quickly deteriorated.

The shooting from Gaza came during the Hamas led March of Return protests. The IDF reported that during the protests, several explosives were thrown at IDF soldiers but there were no injuries.

The IDF responded by attacking approximately 60 Hamas military targets in Gaza overnight on Friday night.

After the IDF strikes, red alert sirens sounded as projectiles were fired at southern Israel from Gaza. Iron Dome systems intercepted at least two projectiles and a third fell in an open field.

At midnight on Friday night, Hamas declared a ceasefire via Egyptian mediation. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum tweeted, “With Egyptian and UN efforts, [an agreement] was reached to return to the previous situation of ceasefire between the occupation and Palestinian factions.”

Hamas refers to Israel as “the occupation”.

Four Gazans were killed on Friday.  Three of them were confirmed by Hamas as members of its military wing, the Qassam Brigade.

On Saturday morning, several Gazans attempted to infiltrate into Israel, prompting the IDF to fire a tank shell at a Hamas post. The infiltrators returned across the border.

Throughout Saturday, incendiary kites and balloons continued to be launched into Israel. A fire was set in the cowshed of Kibbutz Nahal Oz. The IDF responded by firing a tank shell at a Hamas post.

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