According to Washington Post, a senior Hamas official has gone on Israel Radio to make a rare direct appeal to the Israeli public for a halt in the current round of fighting. Israel said earlier it is willing to observe a ceasefire after days of military exchanges in Gaza, if Palestinian militants there end rocket attacks, the BBC informed.
Hamas’ deputy foreign minister, Ghazi Hamad, told the radio station Sunday that the group would cease its attacks on southern Israel if Israel halts its military operations against Gaza militants. Hamad said that “we are interested in calm but want the Israeli military to stop its operations.”
At least 18 people have died in Israeli air strikes, which it says have been in response to militant rocket fire. Defence Minister Ehud Barak made the ceasefire offer on Israeli public radio, saying: “If they stop firing in general, it will be quiet, it will be good.” But he added: “We cannot tolerate firing… We will act along the lines of what happens on the ground.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later told Israeli radio that “if the criminal attacks against Israeli military and civilians continues, Israeli will respond with even more force”.