A purported ceasefire went into effect between Israel and Hamas on Wednesday at mighnight, apparently negotiated by Egyptian officials, putting an end to IDF strikes on terror installations in Gaza in exchange for a halting of rocket fire from terrorists.

The Israeli government did not confirm the announcement.

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Over 80 missiles were fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza on civilians in southern Israel on Wednesday.  Three foreign workers and two Israelis were injured, and eight houses suffered damage.

IDF retaliation resulted in the deaths of three terrorist operatives from Gaza who were in the process of launching further attacks on Israel.

According to reports on Army Radio, the ceasefire was initiated by Hamas, who made its interest in making an agreements known through Egyptian intermediaries.  Sources in the capital city of Jerusalem said they believe Hamas initiated contact due to severe Israeli damage inflicted on their terror centers.

The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha begins on Friday.

In August 2005, opponents of the forced withdrawal of Jewish residents from the Gaza communities of Gush Katif warned that Gaza would become a hotbed of terrorism if Israel relinquished sovereignty on the area.  Since then, over 8,000 rockets have been launched against civilian targets in Israel.

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Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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