Gaza extremists, Israel reportedly agree on ceasefire

CAIRO -- Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip have reached a truce mediated by Egypt to end four days of violence, said an unnamed Egyptian official.

Israel's defensive system is used to intercept rockets fired from Gaza (Beta/AP)
Israel's defensive system is used to intercept rockets fired from Gaza (Beta/AP)

Reuters is reporting that, according to its source, both sides "agreed to terminate the current operation" and that Israel agreed to "stop the killing".

Egyptian officials said the agreement was to take effect one hour at midnight local time. No comment was provided by either Israel or the Palestinian side.

Violence in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip began on Friday when Israel killed a prominent Palestinian extremist - the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) - who it has accused of plotting to attack Israel from Egyptian territory.

Last summer, a terrorist group infiltrated Israel from Egypt and killed eight people - six of them civilians - when they attacked vehicles and a bus on a highway. The Israel government accused the PRC of planning and carrying out that attack as well.

In the latest flare-up, the Gaza militants fired a total of some 200 rockets into Israel, to which Israel reacted by calling further air strikes, resulting in the deaths of 25 Palestinians - 20 extremists and five civilians, according to reports.

Hostilities occasionally escalate in the area, where Israel's southern communities have for years been exposed to rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled territory.