Tense calm prevails amid informal cease-fire

Current round of Gaza violence appears to have concluded after more than 200 rockets fired from territory into Israel.

March 13, 2012 18:06
1 minute read.
Beduin herds sheep in Negev in front of Iron Dome

Beduin sheepherder with Iron Dome in background 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Tense calm prevailed over southern Israel on Tuesday as an informal ceasefire between terrorist groups in Gaza and Israel appeared to be holding after five days of hostilities.

Palestinian terrorists fired five mortar shells and two rockets at southern Israel on Tuesday, the last of which came just before noon.

More than 200 rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel during hostilities which began on Friday when the IDF

An Egyptian security official told Reuters on Tuesday that both sides had "agreed to end the current operations," with Israel giving an unusual undertaking to "stop assassinations," and an overall agreement "to begin a comprehensive and mutual calm."

"There is an understanding," Homeland Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i told Army Radio Tuesday morning. "At the moment the direction is toward calm and it appears, unless there are last minute developments, that this round is now behind us."

Also Tuesday morning, an Islamic Jihad spokesman said the group would respect the quiet as long as Israel stopped assassinations of terrorist leaders, saying it would respond if more assassinations take place.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report

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