Israel and the Gaza Strip have moved closer to declaring a ceasefire according to a Palestinian official, who told the news agency Reuters that both sides have agreed to the terms of a truce.
Attacks from both sides have resulted in 18 deaths, all Palestinians, and upto 70 injuries.
“ The ball is in the Israeli court,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. “If they are interested in calm it would be natural for calm to be restored. Calm will be met with calm.”
The Israeli government has indicated it too is willing to stop the attacks, but the willingness comes with a clear warning to the Palestinian militants who have fired more than 120 rockets and mortars in recent days.
“Our policy is clear,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “If the attacks on Israel’s citizens and soldiers continue, the response will be much harsher.”
The most recent attacks and counter-attacks have been going on since Thursday, when Israel retaliated, after Hamas fired an anti-tank missile at a school bus. One teenager was seriously injured in the assault.