Saturday, November 25, 2006
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A total cease-fire in Gaza began at 6 a.m. local time Sunday (11 p.m. Saturday ET) after Israelis and Palestinian factions agreed on a proposal, authorities said Sunday.
All Palestinian factions have agreed to stop firing rockets into Israel under a cease-fire agreement, according to Nabil Abu Rdaina, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government has agreed to withdraw troops from Gaza and cease military operations, said Miri Eisin, government spokeswoman.
"We think that there's the possibility of hope here," she said. "What we hope is that the violence itself will stop, and we'll be able to see a little bit of peace and quiet in and around the Gaza Strip." (Watch Eisin discuss cease-fire )
The agreement covers only Gaza, she said, and not the West Bank.
Just before the cease-fire took effect, militants fired three rockets into Israel, according to Israel Defense Forces. No one was injured, but a building was damaged.
Abbas called Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to offer the cease-fire.
In the United States, a White House spokesman called the cease-fire a "a positive step forward."
"We welcome the announcement," said spokesman Alex Conant. "We hope it leads to less violence for the Israeli and Palestinian people."
Rdaina said, "We hope that this will be a good start to stop all the activities and to withdraw from Gaza as well from the Israeli troops."
The firing of rockets into Israel has recently prompted Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. Three such airstrikes occurred Saturday and early Sunday.
In one of the recent strike