Fire exchanges continue as Hamas, Israel declare readiness for ceasefire
Hamas said Sunday it wants to end the latest round of fighting with Israel after the Israeli Defense Minister expressed his readiness to respect a cease-fire. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman," told Reuters: "The Palestinian factions do not want to escalation, and that the ball is now in the Israeli occupation's court."
He added that the Palestinian people are defending themselves and if Israel stops its aggression, "it would be natural to return to calm."
The comment from the Palestinian side came hours after Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio Sunday the government was ready to a cease fire in the Gaza Strip if Palestinian groups halted their attacks on Israel. Barak told Palestinians: "Stop the fire and we will stop our fire."
He added "We can not tolerate continued fire on Israel, and we will act depending on what is happening on the ground."
The Israeli army said in a statement on Sunday morning that Palestinians fired three mortar shells into Israel without causing any casualties.