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Palestinians announce ceasefire after five-day rocket barrage

JTA

August 22, 2011 | 11:31 am

Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak (L) speaks with Israeli army officers during a visit to an Iron Dome rocket shield battery in the southern city of Ashkelon August 21. Photo by REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak (L) speaks with Israeli army officers during a visit to an Iron Dome rocket shield battery in the southern city of Ashkelon August 21. Photo by REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Palestinian factions in Gaza appeared to be observing a ceasefire with Israel reportedly brokered by Egypt.

The Popular Resistance Committee, blamed for last week’s coordinated attacks near Eilat that left eight Israelis dead, on Monday announced a “temporary halt of rocket fire,” according to reports.

Hamas reportedly agreed to enforce the ceasefire on smaller Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza.

Israeli officials told reporters that the ceasefire was unilaterally declared by the Palestinians. Still, Israel has not launched any retaliatory strikes on Gaza since midnight on Sunday.

At least four rockets from Gaza were fired at Israel early Monday morning. One was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and one landed near a public building in Israel’s south, damaging the building.

The ceasefire comes after a five-day barrage of rockets fired from Gaza on southern Israel, to which Israel responded to with retaliatory strikes on sites in Gaza. Twelve rockets were fired at Israel after the original ceasefire was to go into effect on Sunday afternoon.

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