Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah appear to be adhering to the latest ceasefire. There have been no reports of major violence after 2am (CET), when the truce took hold. However Gunmen remain on the streets of the Gaza strip. In the runup to the ceasefire, at least 30 Palestinians had been killed in five days of factional fighting. They were the fiercest clashes since Hamas, which rejects peace talks with Israel, defeated the more moderate Fatah in elections last year. The deadly power struggle suspended Hamas-Fatah unity talks.
The bloodshed looked set to spiral out of control until Egyptian diplomats oversaw a deal between Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya of Hamas and a senior aid of Fatah’s Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The truce calls for all armed men to vacate the streets, the release of hostages, the removal of roadblocks and Palestinian police to deploy in force. Previous ceasefires, including one in December failed to take root.