TEL AVIV/GAZA (Sputnik) – Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said Monday that the movement has reached an agreement on a mutual ceasefire with Israel.
“Egypt’s efforts to cease fire between the occupation forces and resistance factions have turned to be successful”, Barhum said in a statement.
A senior Palestinian official told Reuters Monday on condition of anonymity that Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire brokered by Egypt. The truce went into effect at 22:00 local time (20:00 GMT), according to Reuters.
However, following the reported truce agreement, air-raid sirens went off across the southern part of Israel, the IDF said late on Monday. There was no immediate information about any damage caused by rockets in Israel following the rocket alarm, Reuters reported.
After a while the IDF announced once again that the sirens are sounding in southern Israel.
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According to local media reports, militants in Gaza launched at least 10 projectiles toward the southern Israeli town of Sderot earlier on Monday.
Earlier in the day, the Israel Defense Forces said they had destroyed the office of Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, and also claimed to have targeted Hamas’ internal security service and secret military intelligence headquarters in Gaza.
On Monday, Israeli health authorities said that seven people had been injured in central Israel, north of Tel Aviv, as a result of the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. The IDF said they had started striking Hamas targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire that destroyed a house in central Israel.
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Relations between Israel and Palestine have been shattered for decades. Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity, and builds settlements on the occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations.
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Last week, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution condemning the excessive use of force by Israel against Palestinians during the Right of Return protests in March.