Representatives of major factions in Gaza have opened talks with Egyptian officials in an attempt to stop the violence.
“There are contacts between the Palestinian factions and Egyptian leaders to approve a truce and return to a lull,” said the official seal of the Islamic Jihad in Cairo by telephone.
“There is progress. If Israel stops (attacks) we will stop, but Israel must make the first move,” he said.
The Islamist movement Hamas, which controls Gaza, confirmed holding talks by phone with the Egyptians.
“Contacts are ongoing. The process is running,” said a senior Hamas official in Gaza, told AFP, saying a truce confident to be announced “in the coming hours.”
In addition, the UN Special Coordinator for the peace process in the Middle East, Robert Serry, traveled to Cairo where he will hold talks including the escalation of violence.
According to a report by the Israeli army, 26 rockets and mortars were fired from the Gaza Strip in the last 24 hours against southern Israel, causing no casualties or major damage.
More than 100 projectiles have hit Israeli territory since the beginning of this cycle of violence last Thursday, but the shooting abated Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday four Israeli air strikes were reported in Gaza, wounding seven people, including a teenager, according to local emergency services. The Israeli army confirmed two air strikes against “terrorist sites.”
Rockets from Gaza also fell – apparently by mistake it – early Sunday in Egypt, west of the border terminal in Rafah, causing no injuries or damage, reported state television .
The armed confrontation between the radical Palestinian groups in Gaza and Israel had intensified Saturday, with salvos of rockets that hit several towns in southern Israel, killing one person and injured 18 at Be’er Sheva.
Palestinian side, a total of 15 Gazans were killed and fifty wounded, medical sources said, in retaliation for attacks against Israel on Thursday in the area of Eilat (southern Israel), near the border with Egypt.
In addition, the Israeli army arrested dozens of Hamas militants in the south of the occupied West Bank on Sunday, said Palestinian sources.
The Arab League condemned the Israeli raids on Gaza Strip, and asked the international community to pressure the Israeli occupation authorities to put an immediate end to this aggression. ”
The pan-Arab organization also condemned “Israeli aggression against the Egyptian forces,” referring to the deaths of five policemen were killed Thursday in the Egyptian Sinai, while the Israelis were chasing the men believed to have launched commando attacks of Eilat.
In Egypt, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (AFSC, in power), said his “rejection of any interference by any party in the safety of Sinai which is a purely Egyptian.”
Israeli leaders have sought to defuse tensions with Cairo following the incident.
President Shimon Peres expressed his “regrets” the death of Egyptian policemen stressing that the peace treaty between the two neighbors in 1979 “is a strategic asset for everyone.”
The Egyptian government, which calls for “apology” was dismissed as inadequate by Israel expressed regret but refrained from mentioning the recall of its ambassador in Tel Aviv, announced by the Egyptian state television on Saturday.