The Israeli military lifted protective restrictions on residents in southern Israel on Monday, while the Hamas militant group's radio station in Gaza reported a ceasefire, signaling a deal had been reached to end the deadliest fighting between the two sides since a 2014 war. The escalation had killed 23 on the Gaza side, both militants and civilians, and on the Israeli side, four civilians were killed from incoming fire. There was no official ceasefire announcement from either side, but the intense fighting over the past two days appeared to come to a sudden halt in the early morning hours and residents on both sides went back to their daily routines, the AP reports.
In the latest fighting, which erupted over the weekend, Palestinian militants fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, while the Israeli military responded with airstrikes on some 250 militant targets inside Gaza, including weapons storage, attack tunnels and rocket launching and production facilities. It also deployed tanks and infantry forces to the Gaza frontier, and put another brigade on standby. Palestinian medical officials reported 23 deaths, including at least nine militants as well as two pregnant women and two babies. The four Israeli civilians killed were the first Israeli fatalities from rocket attacks since the 50-day war in 2014. One was killed when his vehicle was hit by a Kornet anti-tank missile near the Gaza border. (Read more Gaza stories.)