The Islamic Jihad’s spokesman, Musab al-Braim, confirmed earlier reports of an Egypt-mediated truce between the two sides, saying the ceasefire came into force this morning, Press TV reported.
Braim said Tel Aviv had agreed to both end its targeted killings of Palestinian resistance fighters and lethal gunfire at weekly Palestinian demonstrations against occupation near the fence separating the Gaza Strip from the Israeli-occupied territories.
“The ceasefire began under Egyptian sponsorship after the Occupation (Israeli regime) submitted to the conditions set by Islamic Jihad on behalf of Palestinian resistance factions,” Braim told Reuters.
Earlier, Egyptian sources said the “ceasefire agreement comes as a result of Egypt’s efforts” and has been endorsed by “Palestinian factions including Islamic Jihad.”
The Tel Aviv regime had agreed to the Islamic Jihad’s key demands in exchange for the resistance group to stop firing rockets into the occupied territories and ensure Gaza rallies are peaceful.
There has been no confirmation so far from the Israeli side.
Nonetheless, shortly after the ceasefire, rocket warning sirens were reportedly sounded south of the occupied lands.
On Wednesday night, Ziad al-Nakhala, the Islamic Jihad secretary-general, said the resistance group had laid out a list of demands for the ceasefire with Israel to Egyptian moderators.
“We gave specific conditions for a ceasefire,” he told the Beirut-headquartered Al Mayadeen TV channel. “If Israel accepts them, we will accept a ceasefire."
“If Israel does not accept them, we are going to continue to fight for an open period of time,” he warned.
The Islamic Jihad’s “simple and humble” demands include an end to assassinations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Israeli troops not firing at innocent civilians during Gaza protests, and Tel Aviv abiding by the understandings regarding Gaza reached in Cairo during previous ceasefire negotiations, Nakhala explained.
The escalation erupted early on Tuesday, when Israel assassinated senior Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata, along with his wife, in a targeted strike on their home in Gaza.