Reports: Israel, Hamas reach informal truce
(dpa) - Israel and Hamas have agreed on an informal truce in their fighting, media reports in Israel said Monday morning.
Both sides have denied they reached any understandings, but the number of rocket attacks on southern Israel has declined sharply in recent days, and the Israeli military has not launched any raids into, or airstrikes on, the Gaza Strip.
The Jerusalem Post daily quoted Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah as saying that Israel and Hamas have reached "secret understandings" to stop the violence. The deal was reached under the auspices of Egypt, the unnamed officials said.
The Ha'aretz daily reported that the Israeli government has ordered the military to "exercise restraint" in operations in the Gaza Strip, as a prelude to new rules under which Israel will not attack Hamas if it stops its rocket fire.
The lull comes a week after a bloody five-day escalation in the Gaza Strip, during which over 120 Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes and ground operations, and militants launched 258 rockets and mortars at Israel.