Palestinian officials say a ceasefire agreement has been reached with Israel to end a surge of violence in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel that has led to the death of at least 25 Palestinians and four Israelis.
Gaza officials confirmed to Al Jazeera that a deal was reached at 1:30 GMT, and no Israeli air raids on the Palestinian territory have been reported since the deal came into effect.
The officials said Egypt and Qatar helped mediate an end to days of attacks between Gaza and Israel.
There was no confirmation from the Israeli side. However, the Israeli army early Monday lifted all protective restrictions imposed near the Gaza area during the weekend’s flare-up.
The Home Front Command instructed residents of the south to return to their routines.
The Israeli Transportation Ministry announced that all public bus routes in the south would return to full and normal operation. The railway line between the cities of Ashkelon and Beersheba was also set to resume later in the morning.
An Islamic Jihad official, on condition of anonymity, said the truce agreement was based on Israel easing its blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Among the steps, he said, were the easing of limits on the fishing zone to 12 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza and improvements in Gaza’s electricity and fuel situation.
Egyptian officials also confirmed the deal.
The flare-up was the most serious clash between the two sides since a spate of fighting in November.
Rocket sirens in southern Israel, which had gone off continuously over the weekend, sending residents running for cover, were quiet for a few hours straight before dawn on Monday.— Al Jazeera
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