While Egypt is seeking to negotiate an agreement between Israel and Gaza militants, Hamas warned on Sunday that Israel needs to hold its fire first for peace to return.
The Egyptian side is talking with us constantly, we appreciate their role and we hope that their role will succeed to end this aggression, Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu told AFP. They accept our position that the Israeli side should stop their aggression first and we said clearly to them that if the Israeli side stops the aggression we will respond positively.
All the Palestinian factions have a positive position, he said. But all of them say the Israeli aggression started three days ago and before any talk about a truce, the Israeli side should stop.
The cross-border fire, triggered by Israel's killing of a top Gaza militant leader on Friday, has been the worst clash between the Jewish state and the Hamas-ruled territory in months. The fighting has killed 21 Gazans, including 18 militants, seriously wounded two Israelis, and disrupted the lives of 1 million Israelis living within Gaza rocket range, according to an AP report.
According to Israeli forces, it has undertaken nine air strikes against rocket-launching sites and a weapons storage facility in Gaza strip early Monday.
A spokesperson for Islamic Jihad, which claims responsibility for firing more than 90 rockets across Israel border and also lost 10 militants in Israeli bombing, said the group was not involved in the international truce efforts.
There are no contacts. If the Israeli aggression continues and there are more victims there will be no room for discussion about a calm, Daud Shihab told AFP.
Though an international peace-keeping effort, which also involves Egyptian intervention, is underway, Israeli Primer Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday that the airstrikes will continue. We have a clear policy: we will hit anyone who plans to harm us, who prepares to harm us and who harms us, Netanyahu said on a visit to southern Israel.