Israel said to have accepted earlier Cairo offer of humanitarian lull in hostilities, but terror group refused; minister: ‘If they fire, we’ll respond, but we aren’t seeking war.’
Efforts are underway to reach a full ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, a regional official told The Times of Israel on Sunday, as fighting in the Gaza Strip raged for a third day.
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said Saturday that his government was engaged in active efforts to calm the fighting in the Gaza Strip.
Egypt has played a central role in mediating between Israel and Gaza-based terrorists in recent rounds of violence.
When asked about the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire talks, Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern told Army Radio on Sunday that the military operation against Palestinian Islamic Jihad will continue until “we’re sure of continued calm in the south,” but suggested Israel is open to a ceasefire with the Gaza-based terror group.
“Israel has made very significant achievements in the operation,” he said.
“If they continue to fire on us, we’ll continue to respond, but if [Islamic Jihad] requests a deal — we aren’t seeking war,” said Stern, a member of Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.
It was reported earlier Sunday that Israel had agreed to an Egyptian-proposed humanitarian ceasefire, but Islamic Jihad refused the offer.
Unnamed Palestinian sources told Channel 13 news said two different time slots were proposed for a halt in hostilities — 6 a.m. on Monday morning or 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning. It was unclear why those times had been chosen.
Read more: www.timesofisrael.com/