An leader said that the orgaization is committed to a ceasefire that has been brokered by Egypt after a day of Eleven rockets and mortar shells were

Burned cars in Ashdod on Sunday morning (Photo: Avi Rokach)

Another senior member of the terrorist group that led the rocket attacks said the group was ready to stop firing rockets if Israel halted its air attacks.

“When all jet fighters leave the skies of Gaza we will stop firing rockets,” said Dawud Shehab of Islamic Jihad.

The truce efforts were being mediated by Egypt, which has long been a middleman between the two sides, who do not speak directly to each other.

Iron Dome missile battery near Ashdod (Photo: Avi Rokach)

Earlier, Egyptian officials said they tried to arrange a cease-fire set at 3 am Sunday, but did not win agreement from factions responsible for the rocket attacks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that Israel would step up its retaliatory attacks if necessary, but in the meantime, defense officials said, Israel is holding back in an effort to keep the violence from escalating further.

In the meantime, both sides were bracing for further attacks.

Rina Rabinovitch shows rocket damage in her house (Photo: Avi Rokach)

As a precautionary measure, some 200,000 children stayed home from school on Sunday due the tense security situation. Schools were closed in towns within 40 km of the Gaza Strip, including Beersheba, Ashkelon and Kiryat Malachi. Ben Gurion University did not launch the academic year.

Schools in Sderot, and the Sha’ar Hanegev and Eshkol regional councils remained open.

AP, AFP and Ynet contributed to the report


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