The Next Major Quake: The Sixth Seal of NYC

New York is overdue an earthquake from faults under city

New York is OVERDUE an earthquake from a ‚brittle grid‘ of faults under the city, expert warns

  • New York City last experienced a M5 or higher earthquake in 1884, experts say
  • It’s thought that these earthquakes occur on a roughly 150-year periodicity 
  • Based on this, some say the city could be overdue for the next major quake 


Cheyenne Macdonald For

Published: 15:50 EDT, 1 September 2017 | Updated: 12:00 EDT, 2 September 2017

When you think of the impending earthquake risk in the United States, it’s likely California or the Pacific Northwest comes to mind.

But, experts warn a system of faults making up a ‘brittle grid’ beneath

New York City could also be loading up for a massive temblor.

The city has been hit by major quakes in the past, along what’s thought to be roughly 150-year intervals, and researchers investigating these faults now say the region could be overdue for the next event.

Experts warn a system of faults making up a ‘brittle grid’ beneath New York City could also be loading up for a massive temblor. The city has been hit by major quakes in the past, along what’s thought to be roughly 150-year intervals. A stock image is pictured


On August 10, 1884, New York was struck by a magnitude 5.5 earthquake with an epicentre located in Brooklyn.

While there was little damage and few injuries reported, anecdotal accounts of the event reveal the frightening effects of the quake.

One newspaper even reported that it caused someone to die from fright.

According to a New York Times report following the quake, massive buildings, including the Post Office swayed back and forth.

And, police said they felt the Brooklyn Bridge swaying ‘as if struck by a hurricane,’ according to an adaptation of Kathryn Miles’ book Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake.

The rumbles were felt across a 70,000-square-mile area, causing broken windows and cracked walls as far as Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

The city hasn’t experienced an earthquake this strong since.

According to geologist Dr Charles Merguerian, who has walked the entirety of Manhattan to assess its seismicity, there are a slew of faults running through New York, reports author Kathryn Miles in an

adaptation of her new book Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake.

One such fault passes through 125th street, otherwise known as the Manhattanville Fault.

While there have been smaller quakes in New York’s recent past, including a magnitude 2.6 that struck in October 2001, it’s been decades since the last major tremor of M 5 or more.

And, most worryingly, the expert says there’s no way to predict exactly when a quake will strike.

‘That’s a question you really can’t answer,’ Merguerian has explained in the past.

‘All we can do is look at the record, and the record is that there was a relatively large earthquake here in the city in 1737, and in 1884, and that periodicity is about 150 year heat cycle.

‘So you have 1737, 1884, 20- and, we’re getting there. But statistics can lie.

‘An earthquake could happen any day, or it couldn’t happen for 100 years, and you just don’t know, there’s no way to predict.’

Compared the other parts of the United States, the risk of an earthquake in New York may not seem as pressing.

But, experts explain that a quake could happen anywhere.

According to geologist Dr Charles Merguerian, there are a slew of faults running through NY. One is the Ramapo Fault

‘All states have some potential for damaging earthquake shaking,’ according to the US Geological Survey.

‘Hazard is especially high along the west coast but also in the intermountain west, and in parts of the central and eastern US.’

A recent assessment by the USGS determined that the earthquake hazard along the East Coast may previously have been underestimated.

‘The eastern U.S. has the potential for larger and more damaging earthquakes than considered in previous maps and assessments,’ the USGS

report explained.

The experts point to a recent example – the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that hit Virginia in 2011, which was among the largest to occur on the east coast in the last century.

This event suggests the area could be subjected to even larger earthquakes, even raising the risk for Charleston, SC.

It also indicates that New York City may be at higher risk than once thought.

A recent assessment by the USGS determined that the earthquake hazard along the East Coast may previously have been underestimated. The varying risks around the US can be seen above, with New York City in the mid-range (yellow).

Why India went nuclear 25 years ago: Revelation 8

c uday bhaskar writes: india went nuclear

Why India went nuclear 25 years ago

At a time when nuclear sabre-rattling is becoming more pronounced globally, India’s commitment to pristine deterrence and nuclear restraint should remain resolute

Written by C. Uday Bhaskar
Updated: May 15, 2023 09:34 IST

India, with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the helm, declared itselfnuclear weapon state on May 11, 1998, by carrying out a series of three nuclear detonations. These included a 45 KT (kiloton) thermonuclear device, a 15 KT fission device and a 0.2 sub KT device.

A second test followed two days later and having attained the requisite degree of techno-strategic capability, India announced a self-imposed moratorium on further testing. The 25th anniversary of the Shakti tests is an opportune moment to review the complex and contentious nuclear issue at multiple levels: For India, the southern Asian region and the larger global strategic framework.

The Indian nuclear tests took the world by surprise. The US, robustly supported by China, led the charge in denouncing Delhi for refusing to be tethered as a non-nuclear weapon state under the strictures of the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), to which protocol India remains a non-signatory.

The US and most of its allies imposed sanctions on India. There was disparaging conjecture and dire conclusions were arrived at. The trigger for the Vajpayee government to close the nuclear option (that had been kept in suspended animation since the peaceful nuclear explosion of May 1974) in favour of acquiring the weapon was deemed to be “prestige” and a desperate need to be part of the cloistered five-member nuclear club. South Asia was described as the “most dangerous” place in the world and opprobrium was heaped on India.

In retrospect, the prestige argument with respect to India was invalid and devious, for it deliberately obfuscated the strategic and security imperatives that compelled Delhi to act in the manner it did — namely to assuage a deep-seated nuclear insecurity. The facts are irrefutable but in the late 1980s, the US security establishment and the vast ecosystem of American academics and think-tanks invested in a red-herring strategy (that India does not need nuclear weapons for its security) to retain the sanctity of the nuclear club.

Express View | India’s calculated risk of nuclear weapons paid off

China had acquired its nuclear weapon in October 1964 to address Beijing’s own insecurity in relation to the US and the former USSR. But a nuclear China only served to exacerbate India’s post 1962 trauma vis-a-vis its larger neighbour. Soon thereafter, in the mid 1960s, China and Pakistan entered into an opaque strategic partnership focused on nuclear weapons to advance their shared security interests that were inimical to India.

Then Pakistan Foreign Minister (later Prime Minister) Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto played a major role in this furtive operation, wherein Pakistani scientists who had unfettered access to Western nuclear technology shared their purloined designs and blueprints with their Chinese counterparts. Beijing benefited considerably from this transfer of nuclear know-how, for China had strained relations with both the US and USSR at the time. Disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist A Q Khan and his secret network were the tip of the clandestine iceberg and the Bhutto dream of Pakistan acquiring nuclear weapons even if it “meant eating grass” was soon realised.

Experts maintain that Pakistan acquired the nuclear weapon in the late 1980s courtesy China, which enabled a secret test to validate the warhead design in Lop Nor in May 1990. This Sino-Pak cooperation was being monitored by the US but it chose to keep the matter under wraps and a May 1990 India-Pakistan nuclear crisis narrative was fabricated to add to the red herring strategy.

However, the Indian security establishment had to contend with a stark reality that both its neighbours had the nuclear weapon and that the asymmetry had to be redressed. This was the trapeze that was skillfully managed in the transition from PM Rajiv Gandhi to PM Vajpayee, which enabled May 11, 1998.

In the last 25 years, India has honed its WMD (weapons of mass destruction) capability with improved levels of credibility and has retained its commitment to the NFU (no first use) doctrine. This stems from the conviction that the nuclear weapon has a single purpose — the core mission — to deter the use of a similar capability. This is pristine deterrence and in keeping with its pacifist DNA and strategic culture, the Indian political leadership arrived at a level of sufficiency apropos the quality and quantity of the nuclear arsenal. In essence, the nuclear weapon was not envisioned as a military weapon (the counterforce strategy adopted by the US and USSR in the Cold War) but to caution the potential adversary not to embark on a Hiroshima — for the Indian retaliation would inflict catastrophic damage. Given the proximity of the three southern Asian nuclear powers, apocalypse would engulf the region.

Critics of the NFU advocate that India should go down the counterforce path and acquire tactical nuclear weapons but this is a slippery slope. Tactical in relation to the nuclear weapon is an oxymoron and a rational cost-benefit analysis would indicate that the current nuclear restraint posture is more prudent. Not only for India but for the extended southern Asian region and bringing China and Pakistan to the table will be a test of Indian perspicacity.

Effective deterrence is predicated on the credibility of the entire WMD infrastructure from the prime minister downwards to the strategic forces command and ensuring appropriate efficacy is an onerous task. Currently, some wrinkles such as the role of the Defence Minister in the Indian nuclear ladder need to be reviewed as part of the rewiring of the higher defence management pyramid. The introduction of the CDS (chief of defence staff) is a work in progress and this part of the civil-military command and control needs to be regularly reviewed and simulation exercises conducted.

At a time when nuclear sabre-rattling is becoming more pronounced globally, India’s commitment to pristine deterrence and nuclear restraint should remain resolute.

Antichrist cancels ceremonies honoring his late father

Sadr cancels ceremonies honoring his late father

Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, makes a speech from his house in Najaf, Iraq, August 30, 2022. Photo: Anmar Khalil/AP

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq’s Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Sunday canceled all ceremonies scheduled to honor the memory of his father, Muhamed Sadiq al-Sadr, on the anniversary of his assassination, saying he was punishing the followers that have claimed him to be a long-foretold messianic figure.

In April, a group of Sadrist followers known by the name “People of the Cause” were spreading a theory that Imam al-Mahdi would appear at the Kufa Mosque, coinciding with Sadr’s decision to attend a religious retreat at the mosque. They claimed that Sadr would be the promised one.

Protesting their claims, Sadr announced he was freezing the activities of his Sadrist Movement for a year and deactivating his Twitter account indefinitely.

“I want nothing else than to exonerate myself and loyalists from the actions of the outliers and the corrupt and those with perverted convictions, of those who claim I am Imam al-Mahdi,” said Sadr in a voice message published on Twitter on Sunday.

The Shiite cleric said that “the best punishment” for these groups of outliers and those who support them was “prohibiting everyone” from conducting ceremonies to mark the anniversary of Sadr’s father’s death.

Thousands of Shiite followers annually attend a ceremony in Najaf marking the anniversary of the assassination in accordance to the Islamic Hijri calendar.

Sadr added that he remains “loyal and a servant” to his followers, but claimed that he was making the decision out of concern for them and in hopes that God would spare them from “the evil of that day.”

Islamic theology says that a messianic figure, known as Imam al-Mahdi among Shiites and Muhammad al-Mahdi among Sunnis, will emerge at the end of times to redeem Islam and rid the world of evil. Naming the figure is condemned by both sects, as it falls into the category of al-Ghaib (the concealed), which is information known only by God.

Sadr’s father, an outspoken critic of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, was shot in his car alongside two of his sons, Muamal and Mustafa, by unidentified assailants on February 19, 1999, corresponding to the fourth of Dhu al-Qidah month on the Hijri calendar.

Unlike his two sons, the late Shiite cleric did not immediately meet his fate after the shooting, rather he was taken to a hospital for treatment where he was shot once more, leading to his death. Sadr was 24 when his father was killed.

Sadr commands a large popular following and his movement has religious and charitable institutions. He was also involved in politics until he announced his “definitive retirement” last August after violent altercations broke out between his supporters and those of pro-Iran parties inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone.

The Antichrist’s Inevitable Comeback: How Will He Reenter the Political Game?

Sadr’s Inevitable Comeback: How Will He Reenter the Political Game?

For the first time since 2005, Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has no clear political role and no formal road map to get back into politics until elections are held again in 2025. So where does this leave him and the Sadrist movement?

Geneive AbdoMar 2, 2023 

Executive Summary

Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has been a key player on the Iraqi political scene for nearly two decades, bowed out of politics in 2022. He was manipulated by his Shia rivals, who outmaneuvered – and effectively stole power from – him after the October 2021 parliamentary elections. For the first time since 2005, Sadr has no clear political role and no formal road map to get back into politics until elections are held again in 2025. So where does this leave him and the Sadrist movement, which is comprised of millions of his followers? Iraqis fear he could unleash his supporters and take to the streets, as he has done many times in the past, to regain the political leverage he has lost. This has the potential to spark widespread violence and an all-out intra-Shia conflict.


Muqtada al-Sadr, the Iraqi cleric and politician who posed one of the greatest challenges to
U.S. forces during the early years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, has once again
emerged as a wild card in Iraq’s future. After the October 2021 parliamentary elections, Sadr
went from being a victor to upending Shia Islamist politics as they had existed for nearly 20
years by trying to exclude his Shia rivals from a role in government. As a result, his Shia rivals
managed to maneuver him out of the political system – for now.
However, his return in some form – through violence or other means – is inevitable because he
commands a formidable social base in Iraqi civil society. In addition, although he has vowed to
stay away from politics because he believes the new government is illegitimate, he has made
similar pledges in the past only to find an advantageous way back in at a later time.1 In this
way, he has played the role of the consummate opposition figure in Iraq for many years.
His absence from the political scene, however temporary, is a setback for Western policymakers
who had come to view Sadr and former Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, a Sadr ally, as
useful obstacles to Iranian influence in Iraq. Now that Kadhimi is out of office and Sadr’s
brinkmanship has left him out as well, Iran’s allies have great influence in the new government,
including in the ministries. As the Economist magazine characterized it, the “government has
been hailed as the most pro-Iranian since Shah Abbas conquered Baghdad four centuries
This paper will explore the possible scenarios that could bring Sadr back into the political

Read full paper

What is CBDC, the Mark of the Beast: Revelation 13






More than half of the world’s central banks are exploring or developing digital currencies

Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are digital versions of cash that are issued and regulated by central banks. As such, they are more secure and inherently not volatile, unlike crypto assets.

While some may assume that CBDCs are a new concept, they have in fact been around for three decades. In 1993, the Bank of Finland launched the Avant smart card, an electronic form of cash. Although the system was eventually dropped in the early 2000s, it can be considered the world’s first CBDC.

But not until recently has research into CBDCs proliferated globally, prompted by technological advances and a decline in the use of cash. Central banks all over the world are now exploring their potential benefits, including how they improve the efficiency and safety of payment systems.

As of July 2022, there were nearly 100 CBDCs in research or development stages and two fully launched: the eNaira in Nigeria, unveiled in October 2021, and the Bahamian sand dollar, which made its debut in October 2020.

Countries have different motives for exploring and issuing CBDCs, but in the case of The Bahamas, the need to serve unbanked and under-banked populations across more than 30 of its inhabited islands was a primary driving force.

Beyond promoting financial inclusion, leading experts argue that CBDCs can create greater resilience for domestic payment systems and foster more competition, which may lead to better access to money, increase efficiency in payments, and in turn lower transaction costs. CBDCs can also improve transparency in money flows and could help reduce currency substitution (when a country uses a foreign currency in addition to, or instead of, its own).

While a CBDC may have many potential benefits on paper, central banks will first need to determine if there is a compelling case to adopt them, including if there will be sufficient demand. Some have decided there is not, at least for now, and many are still grappling with this question.

Additionally, issuing CBDCs comes with risks that central banks need to consider. Users might withdraw too much money from banks all at once to purchase CBDCs, which could trigger a crisis. Central banks will also need to weigh their capacity to manage risks posed by cyberattacks, while also ensuring data privacy and financial integrity.

Indians Should Not Be Hoping for Chaos and Collapse of the Pakistani Nuclear Horn : Revelation 8

A view of Lahore. Photo: Syed Bilal Javaid/Unsplash

Even Selfishly, Indians Should Not Be Hoping for Chaos and Collapse in Pakistan

A view of Lahore. Photo: Syed Bilal Javaid/Unsplash

In our excitement at the ongoing bitter tussle for power in Pakistan, we forget a fundamental question: What does it mean for us?

It evidently reinforces the factors that rule out meaningful bilateral engagement between the two countries for the time being. But it has implications beyond the absence of engagement.

The reaction in India to the recent events in Pakistan has been twofold. ‘Serves them right’ is the general refrain on the emotional plane. In our strategic community, a section of opinion predicts collapse of Pakistan, as they have done for a long time during every major crisis in that country. Some others take satisfaction in the fact that a weak and internally absorbed Pakistan impairs the ability of its establishment to trouble us. There is also a not-so-prominent trend to look for what chaos and collapse of state authority in the nuclear armed neighbour would mean for India. Let us look at these reactions in some detail.

The emotional reaction – ‘serves them right’ bordering on schadenfreude – is to be expected in the light of the anger in the Indian public at the conduct of the Pakistani state over the years, particularly the murderous terror attacks engineered by its security establishment. It is equally true that what is happening in Pakistan today is the result of the policies pursued by the Pakistani establishment over the years, beginning with an adversarial posture towards a much bigger and better endowed neighbour – India – that continues to impose an onerous burden on the Pakistani economy, besides being the progenitor of other policies, such as the use of religious zealots for acts of terror and the quest for strategic depth in Afghanistan, that have come to haunt Pakistan. This posture has also contributed to Pakistan’s biggest fault line, the civil-military imbalance and dominance of the army that has prevented consolidation of constitutional governance. The resulting institutional weakness is clearly visible in all functionaries of the state playing a partisan role, rather than adhering to the constitutional norms, in the ongoing crisis. Profligacy of the Pakistani army and elites has hollowed out the economy and stymied economic opportunities for the common man.

Also read: Pakistan’s Extraordinary Turmoil: The View from India

Coming to the strands of opinion in our strategic community, our repeated assertion in the past that a stable and prosperous Pakistan is in India’s interest – Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee too stated it during his visit to Lahore in February 1999 – is based on the assumption that such a Pakistan, where most people have a strong stake in stability, would veer towards constructive policies. The validity of this assumption has, however, not been tested because, barring a few spells of stability under military dictators, Pakistan has been nowhere close to stability and prosperity in its tumultuous history. Going by what Pakistan continues to be, its self-absorption helps us. However, it would be a different ball game altogether if Pakistan’s fault lines were to lead to its collapse.

I do not believe that Pakistan’s collapse is imminent; instead it is likely to continue its messy journey as before. However, the consequences of such a scenario need to be considered because each major crisis in Pakistan leaves the Pakistani state weaker and correspondingly more dangerous; and also because some in our strategic community advocate a proactive role by India to cause Pakistan’s collapse. The resulting chaos will not leave us untouched, presenting us with an unbridled sea of extremism and terrorism from Afghanistan’s western frontier to our western border, a nuclear arsenal in an extremely volatile environment and a veritable humanitarian crisis of large numbers fleeing unrest. One only has to look at the heavy cost that Pakistan has continued to pay for being the key contributor to instability in its neighbour – Afghanistan. Therefore, let us think twice before wishing for Pakistan’s collapse.

What should be India’s policy and posture in the light of the situation prevailing in Pakistan? India has little leverage over Pakistan’s internal developments and has never expressed a preference for who should rule Pakistan. Pakistan being an immediate neighbour, India has dealt with all rulers, including military dictators, thrown up by Pakistan’s internal dynamics. While this policy should stay unchanged, two areas examined below deserve our attention.

First, even though Pakistan’s current plight is the wages of its own sins, the retribution is not visited upon the committers of those sins, i.e. the Pakistani establishment. The consequences – whether in the form of widespread killing as a result of terrorism/ religious extremism or economic hardship – are borne by the ordinary people. Whatever happens to the Pakistani state, its people will not disappear. We will have to live and deal with them in whichever situation they are: in a dysfunctional state, as at the moment; or in a sea of chaos following Pakistan’s collapse; or, as some in India continue to hope, in an “Akhand Bharat”. They are suffering the consequences of the policies of their establishment, including its costly and single-minded hostility against India that has been our bane too. Therefore, our policy and pronouncements should not miss sight of this hapless lot; and lump them with the actions of the Pakistani establishment and our responses to those actions, especially the establishment’s rhetoric. Let’s at least include a word of sympathy and support for them in our responses.

Second, SAARC lies dormant and is not likely to be revived anytime soon. Instead, India has shifted focus to BIMSTEC and, of course, assisting our neighbours bilaterally, as for example the assistance to Sri Lanka following its default on its external obligations. There are other foreign policy priorities centred around India’s desire to play a larger role on the world stage. However, all this does not take away from the fact that South Asia is our immediate periphery and, therefore, of prime interest to us. India is the only country in South Asia capable of presenting a South Asian vision by virtue of its size, a stable and inclusive democratic system, and a large economy growing at a decent rate.

In the past, we have been presenting the vision of India working with its smaller South Asian neighbours to bring security, stability and prosperity to the region by, inter alia, sharing its economic success with them without insisting on strict reciprocity. While Pakistan’s obduracy has been a major factor hindering the realisation of this vision, that is no reason for us to stop presenting it, as we have done in the recent years. In my view, we should continue to voice it, if only as a message to all the constructive forces in the region, including Pakistan.

Sharat Sabharwal is a former High Commissioner to Pakistan and author of India’s Pakistan Conundrum: Managing a Complex Relationship.

Pakistan: Imran Khan Demands Independent Probe Into Riots That Erupted After His Arrest

Rocket launched from Gaza at south; IDF hits outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

A rocket is fired from Gaza City towards Israel, on May 10, 2023. (Mahmud HAMS/ AFP)

Breaking calm, rocket launched from Gaza at south; IDF hits Hamas posts

Palestinians say malfunction caused misfire less than a day after ceasefire between Israel and Islamic Jihad put into effect

By Emanuel Fabian Today, 7:30 pm

A rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip at the southern coastal city of Ashkelon on Sunday evening, the military said, breaking around 20 hours of calm after a ceasefire was reached between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, ending five days of fighting.

Incoming rocket sirens sounded in Ashkelon’s southern industrial zone, and the nearby towns of Zikim and Netiv Ha’asara.

The Israel Defense Forces said the rocket landed in an open field, without causing any injuries or damage. The Iron Dome air defense system was not used, as the projectile was not heading for a populated area, the IDF added.

A source in the so-called “Joint Room” of Palestinian terror factions in the Gaza Strip told Al-Jazeera that the rocket was launched as a result of a technical malfunction.

“The resistance confirms its commitment to the ceasefire,” the source added.

The IDF said tanks carried out strikes against two observation posts belonging to the Hamas terror group in response.

Israel generally responds with strikes against Hamas sites regardless of the group launching the attack, noting that it is responsible for any attacks emanating from the territory. At times, it has directed its response at Islamic Jihad, if the terror group claimed responsibility.

After five days of fighting, a ceasefire was slated to come into effect at 10 p.m. on Saturday evening, although rocket attacks and retaliatory airstrikes continued in the hours following. By Sunday morning, the ceasefire appeared to be holding, and the IDF lifted all remaining restrictions on the activities of those living and working in Gaza border towns.

The IDF on Sunday evening published statistics from its five-day operation, which it dubbed Shield and Arrow.

According to IDF data, Palestinian terrorists launched 1,468 rockets and mortars at Israel during the five-day conflict.

The military said that 290 of the rockets, about 20 percent, fell short in the Gaza Strip, and another 39 landed in the sea, with the remaining 1,139 rockets crossing the border to Israel.

The Iron Dome air defense system intercepted around 430 rockets, marking a 95% interception rate of projectiles headed for populated areas. Two rockets were also intercepted by David’s Sling, the system’s first successful operational use.

Two people were killed and several others were wounded by rockets that fell in both populated and unpopulated areas of Israel. Inga Avramyan, 80, was killed when a missile slammed into her apartment on Thursday in the city of Rehovot, before she and her disabled husband managed to seek shelter. The IDF said the Iron Dome suffered a “technical fault,” which prevented the rocket from being intercepted.

Palestinian laborer Abdullah Abu Jaba, from Gaza, was killed on Saturday when a rocket fired from Gaza hit an agricultural building site near the southern border town of Shokeda. The Iron Dome does not intercept rockets heading for unpopulated areas, and IDF regulations barred people from working in places without air raid sirens and adequate bomb shelters.

The IDF said it carried out strikes against 422 Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, including eight military sites, 19 command centers, 12 weapons manufacturing sites, 122 rocket launchers, 63 mortar launching sites, 10 squads launching rockets and mortars; and carried out 21 targeted killings — including of six senior members of the terrorist group.

The Air Force carried out the strikes with 120 fighter jets, 14 combat helicopters, and an unspecified number of drones. The aircraft used 250 tons of munitions (a total of 390 bombs). Drones carried out a total of 115 strikes, and ground forces carried out 10 strikes.

The IDF said it killed a total of 21 terror operatives during the fighting. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza reported 33 deaths during the fighting. The IDF said at least four civilians were likely killed by failed rockets, and a number of civilians were killed during the initial strikes of the operation early Tuesday morning, targeting senior Islamic Jihad members.

Speaking to reporters, the head of the IDF Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, said the surprise strikes on Tuesday were key to what the military views as a very successful operation.

“It was important for us to start the operation with a complete surprise, during a [normal] routine, because in the face of terror organizations that use their citizens and their families to protect themselves, you have to work with smart and sophisticated methods,” Toledano said.

“It was important for us to keep up a sequence of targeted strikes and to eliminate [terror operatives] every day,” he said. “I’m happy that together with our partners we made the right planning and with the highest quality execution.”

Toledano said defensive activities were continuing on the Gaza border following the ceasefire.

Announcing the ceasefire on Saturday evening, Egypt said the parties agreed to “a commitment to stop the attacks on civilians and the destruction of homes, as well as the harm to people immediately, from the start of the ceasefire.”

Cairo said it expected Israel and Islamic Jihad to abide by the agreement, despite contradictory reports on its contents.

In Gaza, Islamic Jihad spokesman Tareq Selmi said Israel had agreed to halt its policy of targeted strikes on the group’s leaders. “Any stupidity or assassination by the occupation will be met with a response and the Zionist enemy bears the responsibility,” he said.

But in a statement thanking Egypt for its “vigorous efforts” to negotiate an end to the fighting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, said that “quiet would be answered with quiet” and Israel would do “everything that it needs to in order to defend itself.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.