Calm between Hamas and Israel goes into effect
Israel and Hamas halted fighting in the Gaza Strip on Thursday but both sides voiced doubt over how long the Egyptian-brokered calm might hold. Just before the truce went into effect an Israeli missile strike killed one Palestinian gunman and injured another near the border fence with Israel in the central part of the Gaza Strip, medical workers said.
According to Reuters, the calm started at 6 a.m. (0300 GMT). "What they are calling a 'calm' is fragile and likely to be short-lived," Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a speech near Tel Aviv. "Hamas and other terrorist groups ... have not changed their stripes or turned into lovers of peace," he said on Wednesday.
Hamas' Izz El-Deen al-Qassam Brigade, the group's armed wing, said in a statement issued as the calm went into effect, that it was "not in anyway a free gift," to Israel and warned against any violations by the Israeli army. "Qassam Brigades is fully ready to launch a military strike that would shake the Zionist entity if they did not abide by all the items of the calm deal and the Zionist enemy would be responsible for any foolish act they may commit," the statement said.