Palestinians, Israel reach cease-fire agreement
Israeli minister in charge of civil defense Matan Vilnai and a spokesman for Islamic Jihad confirmed Tuesday morning that a cease-fire was reached to end the latest cycle of violence that began Friday. "There is actually an agreement, and we follow what is happening on the ground," Matan Vilnai told Israel's public radio without giving details, but stressing that "the trend is apparently to calm and apparently this round of clashes is behind us."
For his part, spokesperson for Islamic Jihad, Daoud Shehab, said in Gaza: "We accept a cease-fire if Israel agrees to implement it by ending its attacks and assassinations."
It is reported that Egypt will monitor the implementation of this agreement that was reached Monday night. "A comprehensive and reciprocal agreement to end the current hostilities between the two parties, including stopping assassinations, came into force at midnight," said an official involved in the Egyptian mediation to reinstate a truce between Israel and Gaza.
Hamas, who rules the Gaza Strip, was engaged in the past days in contacts with Egyptian intelligence services to restore calm. However, its leaders refused to comment early Tuesday.
This new round of violence was triggered by the killing Friday of Zuhair al-Qaïssi, leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), in an Israeli air raid. In total, 25 Palestinians, including members of the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, Al-Quds Brigades, were killed since the violence began Friday. At least 83 other Palestinians were wounded.