By REUTERS, JPOST.COM STAFF AND YAAKOV KATZ03/13/2012 01:26Both sides “agree to end current operations,” Israel gives undertaking to “stop assassinations,” Egyptian security official says; Islamic Jihad hits Gedera as IDF readies for possible use of Iranian-made Fajr rockets. By Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post
Israel and terrorist factions in the Gaza Strip have agreed to an Egyptian-brokered truce to end four days of cross-border violence, a senior Egyptian security official told Reuters on Tuesday.
The official said in a telephone call from Cairo that both sides had “agreed to end the current operations”, with Israel giving an unusual undertaking to “stop assassinations”, and an overall agreement “to begin a comprehensive and mutual calm.”
The agreement was set to take effect at 1 a.m. local time (2300 GMT). There was no immediate comment from either side on the agreement. Previous cease-fire deals after earlier rounds of fighting have often got off to a shaky start.
Israeli officials reiterated the longstanding policy that the IDF would “answer quiet with quiet” but stopped short of providing any guarantees to withhold fire in response to rocket attacks, Israel Radio reported.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Office spokesman declined to comment.
Islamic Jihad escalated its rocket fire into Israel on Monday, striking as far north as Gedera as Egyptian diplomats worked to broker a cease-fire between the Palestinian terrorist group and Israel.
High-ranking IDF officers were skeptical earlier in the day that the mediation efforts would succeed and said that plans were in place to escalate Israel’s ongoing military operations, including the possible launching of a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip if the rocket fire continued.
“A lot depends on Hamas and Islamic Jihad but we are prepared for all scenarios,” a top officer in the Southern Command said Monday night.