The Arab League on Sunday announced during a special meeting in Cairo that it plans to press the UN to impose a no-fly zone over Gaza amid an escalation in violence in the area, AFP reported.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said he plans to present the proposal to the UN Security Council, the report said.

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The announcement came as Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported on Sunday that UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Roberty Serry successfully brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip including Hamas.

The deal, reportedly reached Saturday night stipulated that the IDF stop its air and artillery strikes against Palestinian terrorist groups, who also reportedly have agreed to halt their rocket and mortar fire.


Neither Jerusalem nor Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip have announced a ceasefire, but senior officials made statements Sunday hinting to their openness towards such a deal.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said early Sunday that Jerusalem was willing to accept a mutual ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza after several days of projectile fire and IDF strikes, adding that "If necessary, we will act, but," he said, "restraint is also a form of strength."

"If they stop firing on our communities, we will stop firing. If they stop firing in general, it will be quiet, it will be good," Barak told Israel Radio.

On the Gazan
the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, Al-Quds, said that it was committed to a ceasefire with Israel, saying it was in the "interests of our people not to give Israel an excuse to launch a major military operation in Gaza."

The announcement came only hours after the group claimed responsibility for firing three mortars and a rocket into Israeli territory Sunday morning.

Abu Ahmed, Islamic Jihad's spokesperson, said that his group would cease violence "so long as Israel fulfills it's responsibility and stops attacks against the Palestinian people in Gaza."

Hamas also softened its language on Sunday.

The group's spokesman in the Gaza Strip, Sami Abu Zuhri, on said that "The Palestinian factions are not interested in escalation." He added, "if the Israeli aggression stopped, it would be natural for calm to be restored."

Reuters contributed to this report

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