GAZA CITY: Palestinian factions are prepared to stand by a fragile truce which Hamas declared over this week after firing rockets into Israel, an Egyptian official said Thursday.
The member of an Egyptian security delegation, based in the Gaza Strip, was speaking to AFP following talks with Palestinian faction representatives and Israeli officials to try to prevent a new spiral of violence.
The Egyptian security delegation told the Israelis it was informed by the Palestinian factions they were ready to respect the truce and not carry on firing rockets and mortars on Israeli positions and towns, said the official.
The Palestinian factions demanded reciprocal respect of the truce and that it be applied equally to the Gaza Strip and West Bank, he added, speaking on condition of anonymity.
They consider any Israeli attack on Palestinian people in the West Bank an aggression against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the official said.
Hamas would hold rocket fire if Israeli incursions and aggressions stop, a spokesman for the radical movement said.
Rocket fire is a form of resistance invoked to confront the Zionist enemy and its aggressions, Ismail Radwan said.
The armed wing of Hamas, whose political branch is the senior coalition partner in the Palestinian government, on Tuesday said it fired nearly 100 projectiles towards Israel and declared a five-month fragile truce over.
The Islamic group said it was abandoning the truce following Israeli raids that killed nine Palestinians at the weekend.
The army said 10 projectiles landed inside Israel, causing no casualties or damage. No further rocket impacts have been reported on Israeli territory.
Israel threatened a serious response to continued rocket fire on Wednesday but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appeared to rule out any imminent large-scale operation against the Gaza Strip.
Eight Palestinians were arrested in the northern occupied West Bank by Israeli troops on Thursday, including one suspected local leader of the radical Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Palestinian security sources said.