Thursday, 21 June 2012

0 Hamas declare cease-fire with Israel

The Palestinian group Hamas says its military wing has agreed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Israel following a sharp increase in violence between the two sides.

In a statement posted early Wednesday, Hamas -- which controls the Palestinian territory of Gaza -- says it will observe the cease-fire as long as Israel remains committed to the agreement.

Hamas declare cease-fire with Israel

There was no immediate response to the cease-fire announcement from Israel, which said more than 75 rockets had been fired into its territory from Gaza in the past three days. Six Palestinians and one Israeli died between Sunday and Tuesday in a spate of rocket attacks and Israeli airstrikes, officials on both sides reported; Israel also said a Palestinian child was killed when a rocket launch attempt by militants backfired.

Israeli warplanes struck two targets in Gaza on Tuesday in response to the rocket fire, the Israel Defense Forces said. Hamas security sources told CNN the strikes targeted a site used to train Palestinian militants to launch rockets and another training facility run by the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, with two people injured.

"We stress that our confrontation with the Zionist enemy in this round was in its minimum in fire and counterattacks," the brigades said in a statement announcing the deal. It said the agreement includes "all other resistance factions" operating from Gaza, which has been under Hamas control since 2007.

Israel says nearly 300 rockets have been fired into its territory from Gaza since the beginning of 2012.



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