GAZA, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire for 72 hours, which was approved by both Israel and Hamas-led militant groups, came into effect in the Gaza Strip at 8:00 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) on Tuesday.
According to the agreement, both sides mutually cease fire for 72 hours, refrain from fighting and hold indirect talks in Cairo to discuss the details of a permanent truce.
The deal was reached after a day-long negotiation held Monday in Cairo between an Egyptian delegation and a high-ranking Palestinian delegation.
The Palestinian delegation included leaders of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, headed by Azzam el-Ahmed, a member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party.
Shortly before the ceasefire came into effect, several rockets were fired from Gaza into central Israel. No injuries were reported.
Hamas armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said in a text message that its militants fired several rockets into Israel "in response to the occupants' crimes and massacres against families in the Gaza Strip."
Israeli war jets carried out several airstrikes on Gaza city and the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis in return.
Right after the ceasefire came into effect, people began to go out of their homes, and the main streets and markets were crowded.
Meanwhile, Israeli Radio reported that the Israeli ground forces would pull out to the borderline area between Israel and the coastal enclave.
During the four-week Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, 1,867 Palestinians were killed and 9,563 wounded, according to a health ministry e-mailed statement. More than a thousand houses were destroyed.
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday night called on the Palestinians and the Israelis to abide by the 72-hour Gaza ceasefire they had both approved. Full story
CAIRO, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian delegation in Cairo that includes Gaza-ruling Hamas movement agreed a 72-hour truce starting from 05:00 GMT of Tuesday, head of the delegation Azzam al-Ahmed said in a statement on Monday evening.
"The delegation told the Egyptian leadership the Palestinian side's approval of Egypt's invitation for cease-fire in Gaza Strip for 72 hours truce starting from Tuesday 05:00 GMT," the leading Fatah member said. Full story
GAZA/CARIO, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The first official talks on reaching a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Gaza militants kicked off on Sunday in Cairo amid international pressures on the fighting parties to end around four weeks of Israeli offensive on the coastal enclave that killed and wounded thousands. Full story
GAZA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli large-scale offensive which has been going on since July 8 on the Gaza Strip has already killed 1,766 and wounded 9,500 others, the health ministry in Gaza said Sunday. Full story