Israel, Gaza Agree to Hold Fire After Latest Round of Fighting
After five days of mounting violence, Israel and the Palestinians stepped back from the brink of a new war in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, sending signals to each other via Egypt that they would hold their fire unless attacked.
The tacit truce arrested an escalation to all-out fighting, but both sides remain armed and primed for another round in the unresolved conflict that has festered since Hamas Islamist militants took over the enclave in 2007.
Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Gaza’s Hamas government, praised the main armed factions in the enclave for agreeing on Monday night to a truce.
“They showed a high sense of responsibility by saying they would respect calm should the Israeli occupation also abide by it,” he said.
Haniyeh spoke during an unannounced visit to a hospital to see wounded Palestinians. Some Israeli leaders say it is time to resume the controversial tactic of assassinating Hamas leaders.