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Report: Hamas agrees to curb Gaza border violence to facilitate truce with Israel

Hamas has denied any responsibility for the rocket attacks, one of which destroyed a home in Beersheva, with its residents in a safe room.

Palestinians protest in southern Gaza near the border with Israel, demanding a “right of return” for descendants of all Arabs that fled during the 1948 War of Independence, on April 15, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Palestinians protest in southern Gaza near the border with Israel, demanding a “right of return” for descendants of all Arabs that fled during the 1948 War of Independence, on April 15, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

Hamas has decided to scale back the violent weekly protests along Gaza’s border with Israel in an effort to bring down the number of casualties among the protesters, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat reported on Thursday.

A Palestinian source in the Gaza Strip told Al-Hayat that the organization had made its decision after being pressured by a delegation of senior Egyptian intelligence officials that arrived in Gaza on Tuesday to mediate a ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Gaza rulers. The decision was made before two long-range rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel Wednesday, one of which demolished a family home in Beersheva.

Hamas has denied any responsibility for the rocket attacks.

The newspaper reported that the Egyptian officials had persuaded Hamas to de-escalate the tensions with Israel after a Hamas operative was killed in a retaliatory Israeli missile strike on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, reports on Wednesday that suggested that Egypt had brokered a ceasefire between Israel and ‎Hamas were not corroborated by Egyptian or Israeli officials.

The Palestinian Maan news agency reported that ‎Egyptian officials who are visiting Gaza in efforts to mediate a long-term truce teamed ‎with U.N. Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov and ‎held urgent meetings with the Palestinian factions ‎in Gaza.‎

Egyptian intelligence official Ahmed Abdel Khalek, ‎who heads the delegation, was able to convince the ‎Gazan groups to halt their fire, the report said.‎

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