Hamas agrees to halt rocket attacks

Oct. 25, 2012 at 8:01 AM
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BEERSHEBA, Israel, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A mortar shell fired from Gaza exploded in southern Israel Thursday despite an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire.

A day after more than 80 mortar shells and rockets were fired at southern Israel, a tense calm prevailed and the cease-fire appeared to hold, Israel Radio said.

A mortar shell fired from Gaza exploded early Thursday in the Eshkol region. No damage or injuries were reported, the report said.

An unnamed Palestinian official told Ynetnews.com the cease-fire went into effect at midnight Wednesday after Egyptian intelligence officials secured Hamas' agreement to end the rocket barrages. Egyptian intelligence officials are also seeking to convince smaller terror groups in Gaza to abide by the cease-fire, Ynetnews.com said.

The Popular Resistance Committee in Gaza, however, said late Wednesday it would not recognize any cease-fire deal, the Palestinian news agency Ma'an said.

"The contacts Cairo made resulted in a verbal promise by Hamas to calm the situation down and Israel said it was monitoring calm on the ground," the Palestinian official said.

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