Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have agreed a ceasefire deal. It is aimed at ending the worst cycle of violence in Gaza for over a year. The power struggle between the two has derailed talks for a unity government, and there are also signs that the conflict is spreading further afield. Islamic Jihad, who along with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, claim responsibility for yesterday’s suicide bombing in Eilat, said it was partly a message to Hamas and Fatah to unite against Israel.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar called for an end to the factional clashes which have killed more than 60 since December. He also appealed for those suspected of involvement in the killings to be handed over. Zahar spoke after a meeting between Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and a representative of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. They were joined by Egyptian mediators.
Gaza has been riven by internal fighting for months now. Thirty Palestinians alone were killed in the last five days of fighting. However, previous ceasefires, including one last month, have proved to be shortlived.