A Hamas official in Gaza said Sunday that all of Gaza's militant groups have agreed to a cease-fire aimed at ending a three-day round of violence with Israel.
The official said Egypt helped broker the cease-fire, which will go into effect this evening. He says Egypt told the groups that Israel would halt its airstrikes only if the Palestinian groups stopped shooting first, and that Hamas security personnel would enforce the agreement.
He spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because the agreement had not officially been made public.
Earlier on Sunday, AP reported that Israeli officials arrived in Cairo. Moreover, Israeli sources confirmed that the reduced IDF strikes on Gaza in the last 24 hours was an intentional move aimed at allowing Egypt to mediate a cease-fire, as well as out of fear for the defense and diplomatic relationship with Egypt.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a harsh warning to those responsible for the latest rocket fire on southern Israel, saying those who act against Israel "will have their heads separated from their bodies."
"In a quick and direct action, the IDF killed the leaders of the Popular Resistance Committees, the organization which ordered the terror attack," Barak said during a visit to one of the sites of the Iron Dome missile defense system in southern Israel.
Earlier on Sunday, Israel Air Force warplanes hit the town of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, in Israel’s first military response in 24 hours to sustained rocket fire on its southern communities.
The latest round of violence began Thursday, when nine people were killed in southern Israel during a series of terror attacks whose perpetrators Israel believes entered viwa Sinai but originated in the Gaza Strip.
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