Popular Resistance Committees, the group Israel says is behind a deadly terror attack last week near Eilat, announced Monday that it would adhere to a
cease-fire as an escalation in Gaza seemed to calm. The announcement followed reports that Palestinian factions had agreed to
stop firing rockets at Israel.One official who was involved in mediating talks between
Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza said the groups had "reached an
understanding on a truce and that the truce has started."
"We will temporarily stop firing
rockets for the sake of our Palestinian people," the terrorist group
said in a statement posted on its website, Palestinian news agency Ma'an
reported. The PRC had previously resisted committing to a cease-fire.
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a dozen rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel since Sunday
night and the IDF struck back in the Strip at least once. No Gaza-based
group took responsibility for the rocket launches. No injuries were
reported from the rockets.
Earlier Monday, Palestinian officials said that Hamas
had agreed to enforce a cease-fire on smaller Palestinian factions in
Gaza, which have been responsible for most of the rockets fired at
Israel in the escalation of recent days.
said that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a cease-fire after five days of cross-border
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office denied that it was partner to any signed cease-fire agreement in Gaza.
A source in the PMO told Army Radio, "We do not sign agreements with Hamas, not directly and not indirectly."
He added, "Israel is monitoring the implementation of the cease-fire. If they continue the shooting, we'll respond accordingly."
At a late-night meeting with security cabinet ministers, Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu concluded that Israel will not respond to any attacks
from Gaza with a large-scale operation.
Other diplomatic sources expressed concern that escalation in the South could
upset Egypt and hurt Israel at the UN vote for Palestinian statehood
By weakening Israel's stance in the international arena ahead of the
Palestinian statehood decree in September, one senior diplomatic source
told Army Radio, "Hamas will be seen as leading the way for the
establishment of a Palestinian state."
Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel resumed
Sunday evening and continued through early Monday morning despite
reports that Hamas was attempting to get Palestinian factions to agree
to an immediate cease fire.
Four Kassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip after midnight on Sunday
landed in Sderot, the Eshkol Regional Council area and on the outskirts
of Ashkelon. No injuries or damage were reported in the attacks. An
additional rocket damaged a building in the Eshkol Regional Council on
Monday morning and the Iron Dome anti-rocket shield intercepted one
rocket fired in the direction of Ashkelon.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.