Palestinian faction: Gaza militants to call truce

August 25, 2011 - 6:10 PM
APTOPIX Mideast Israel Palestinians

Palestinians carry the body of Islamic Jihad militant Ateya Mkat, 22, killed in an Israeli air strike Wednesday, during his funeral in Gaza City, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. Palestinian official said that the militant was killed during an Israeli air strike late Wednesday. Palestinian militants fired rocket barrages that wounded an Israeli baby Wednesday, and Israel retaliated with airstrikes that killed four Gaza fighters, Gaza officials said. (AP Photo/Ashraf Amra)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Palestinian faction says Gaza militants have agreed to truce with Israel to halt more than a week of deadly hostilities.

The Islamic Jihad says Egypt mediated the truce.

It is to go into effect at 1 p.m. local time Friday (1100 GMT).

The factions called a cease-fire late Sunday, but it dissolved almost immediately in a volley of rocket fire from Gaza on Israel and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes. The violence began with a Palestinian attack that killed eight Israelis on the Egyptian border.

Taher Nunu, a government spokesman in Hamas-ruled Gaza, said early Friday, "The government has called on the Palestinian factions not to give an opportunity to the (Israeli) occupation government to escalate its aggression further."

Another Hamas official said all key factions agreed to the truce.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli airstrike killed two Palestinian militants in the northern Gaza Strip Thursday after a string of rocket attacks toward Israel.

Palestinian officials said the two were members of the Islamic Jihad militant group.

The Israeli military confirmed it carried out the attack, saying the two were targeted after they fired mortar shells toward an Israeli border crossing.

The military said more than 15 rockets and mortar shells were fired toward Israel Thursday and that the Erez Crossing was severely damaged.

Despite announcing a cease-fire earlier in the week, Palestinian militants have continued to fire rockets daily into Israel.

Rockets wounded an Israeli baby Wednesday and Israel retaliated with airstrikes that killed four Gaza fighters. The Palestinians found four bodies Thursday from a tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip that was targeted the previous night.

The violence began last week when gunmen, apparently from Gaza, crossed the border from Egypt and ambushed cars and buses in southern Israel, killing eight people. That was followed by massive Palestinian rocket attacks and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes.

Israel's military said it will "not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians."