Hamas announces immediate ceasefire
Hamas announced an immediate ceasefire by its fighters and allied groups in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, senior Hamas official Ayman Taha said, adding that the Islamists gave Israel a week to pull out its troops. "Hamas and the factions announce a ceasefire in Gaza starting immediately and give Israel a week to withdraw," Ayman Taha, a Hamas official in Cairo for talks with Egypt on a truce deal.
According to Reuters, Hamas also demanded that Israel open all of the Gaza Strip's border crossings to allow in food and other goods to meet the "basic needs for our people". Israel said earlier on Sunday that it will not consider a timetable for withdrawing all of its forces from the Gaza Strip until Hamas and other groups cease their fire.
Meanwhile, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the ceasefire announcement by Israel showed the "victory of the Islamic resistance and the heroic people of Gaza" against Israel, the official IRNA news agency reported. "The mere halt in air, sea and land attacks, without the withdrawal of the (Israeli) forces from the occupied positions, would not be enough for the cessation of confrontation," Mottaki said. "It is necessary that the Zionist forces leave the occupied regions," he said, calling their presence "provocative".