Hamas Agrees to Gaza Ceasefire if Israel Reciprocates

Hamas says armed groups in the Gaza Strip have agreed to a ceasefire deal with Israel following one of the worst days in violence since the 2014 Gaza war.

The Israeli government had yet to comment on Wednesday on the offer following a night of air strikes targeting several Hamas and Islamic Jihad positions in the coastal enclave.

Khalil al-Hayya, Hamas’s deputy chief in Gaza, said in a statement:

He added that the group was committed to it as long as Israel was.

Hours earlier, a Hamas-affiliated Twitter account said the group would return to previous understandings with Israel concerning the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz sidestepped questions on whether Israel had agreed to a ceasefire, but said it was not interested in an escalation towards war.

Katz told Israel radio:

The Israeli army said it struck 60 targets belonging to Palestinian resistance groups after a barrage of projectiles were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Tuesday.

The firing of rockets and mortar rounds came as Islamic Jihad vowed to avenge a deadly attack against its members last week.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas slammed Israel for the burst of violence, accusing it of escalating tensions.

Tuesday’s exchange of fire came after weeks of deadly unrest in the enclave.

Since March 30, at least 121 unarmed Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in protests near the fence with Israel. Gazans are demanding their right to return to the homes and land their families were expelled from during the establishment of Israel in 1948.

Gaza has been under a devastating Israeli-imposed blockade for the past 12 years, severely restricting the movement of Palestinians in and out of the territory of more than two million people.

Source: Palestine Chronicle