Hamas, Israel to announce Gaza ceasefire?

Palestinian militant group Hamas is due to announce a ceasefire with Israel, the BBC reported on Friday.

Last Updated: Jul 04, 2014, 11:19 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Jerusalem/Gaza City: Palestinian militant group Hamas is due to announce a ceasefire with Israel, the BBC reported on Friday.

The likely ceasefire comes following exchanges of fire along the border in the Gaza Strip.

The BBC quoted a Hamas source as saying that the ceasefire had been brokered by Egyptian intelligence officials.
The news came hours after Israel warned Hamas against any escalation in violence, reinforcing its Gaza border amid continued rocket fire and heightened tensions after three Israeli youths and a Palestinian teenager were murdered.

"We are looking for calm, not escalation, but if Hamas chooses to act against us, we shall be ready," armed forces chief Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said in remarks tweeted by the Army.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas`s military wing, had earlier warned Israel to wind down its Gaza air strikes and widespread West Bank arrests -- mainly of Hamas members.

"What the enemy is doing in the West Bank and Gaza... adds fuel to the fire of confrontation," spokesman Abu Obeida told reporters.
"Idiotic measures by your leaders will be enough for us to turn your localities and sites... into embers."

The war of words came as Palestinians in east Jerusalem hurled rocks and fireworks at Israeli police and burned car tyres on a second day of protests on Thursday over the kidnap and murder of local 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khder.

Many believe he was killed in revenge for the abduction and murder in the West Bank last month of the three Israeli teenagers whose bodies were found on Monday.

Israel police say the motive for Abu Khder`s killing is still unclear, and have not said how he died.

(With agency inputs)