Islamic Jihad accepts ceasefire in Gaza

Updated: 2011-10-30 18:14


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GAZA - Islamic Jihad movement said Sunday that it accepted an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel after a day of cross-border violence that left nine Palestinians and one Israeli dead, a Jihad spokesman said.

"We have responded to Egypt's efforts to reinforce lull while reserving our right to retaliate the Israeli aggression," said Abu Ahmed, a spokesman for Jihad's armed wing.

The rockets that the Islamic Jihad fired from Gaza last night and killed an Israeli "have restored balance of deterrence with the enemy," Abu Ahmed told Xinhua.

The recent wave of violence started when Israeli airplanes hit a group of Islamic Jihad militants at a training site in southern Gaza Strip, killing five of them at the scene, in respond to rocket attacks by Jihad. Four others were killed in separate incidents while they were firing rockets into Israel.

Earlier Sunday, Israel Radio reported that the international community, including Egypt, was working to restore calm. However, the radio quoted an Israeli army spokesperson as saying that Israeli troops will respond to any fire from Gaza.

Yousef Rizka, an adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya, said the Hamas government is "not interested in escalation and tries to avoid it."

"We appreciate the Egyptian efforts to calm the situation down," Rizka told reporters.

Hamas, which took over Gaza by force in 2007, abided by a shaky truce that took effect after Israel's major military operation in Gaza nearly three years ago.