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Ceasefire holds, despite opposition

April 11, 2011 9:04 P.M. (Updated: April 13, 2011 9:54 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Reports of a ceasefire deal reached late Saturday between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza, were received coolly by leftist and Islamist groups on Sunday.

Israeli and Palestinian sources reported that a truce had been offered Saturday.

On Sunday, Hamas politburo member Salah Al-Bardawil said Palestinian factions in Gaza accepted the truce as they "do not want to drag the Palestinians to war amidst the changes taking place in Arab countries without media outlets focusing on Gaza."

Hamas "will be committed to a truce as long as Israel is committed as well," he said.

Just hours after the reported deal, a group calling itself the Marwan Haddad division of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a new Palestinian military group in Gaza, said its fighters had launched a homemade projectile toward Israel.

The group said Sunday it would not accept truce conditions with Israel.

Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades claimed responsibility for firing three mortar shells at the Kerem Shalom area Sunday morning.

"Truce means nothing to us," Dauod Shehab, spokesman of Islamic Jihad, said in a statement Sunday, "because we do not trust neither the [Israeli] occupation nor its pledges, so what we are interested in is the situation in the field."

Also Sunday, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Jamal Mezher described the truce as a "mistake" because Israel's army did not stop "its assault, is still committing crimes, and insists on killing and destruction against Palestinians."

"Regrettably, there weren't consultations among the factions on whether or not to agree to a truce; the only party speaking on this issue is Hamas," Mezher said.

In Jerusalem, Israeli leaders decided to continue to "work against terrorism in Gaza," despite Hamas' call for a ceasefire, Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser was quoted as saying late Sunday by Israel's Haaretz daily.

A controversial part of the reported truce deal is Israel’s insistence that their forces would continue to hit what they called “time bombs” which pose a threat to Israel.

Despite the statements, Gaza has seen a relative calm since Sunday, following days of rocket fire and Israeli air raids that have killed at least 18 people in Gaza.
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