Truce to stop Israel Gaza border violence

By Jennifer Lipman, March 13, 2012

A truce is in place between Israel and Gaza terrorist groups after more than 220 rockets were sent into southern Israel in the space of four days.

Although no official truce has been announced, according to Israeli minister Matan Vilnai the tensions on the border "appear to be behind us."

Reuters reported an Egyptian security official stating that both had agreed "to end the current operations" and forge a deal "to begin a comprehensive and mutual (period of) calm".

However if rocket fire continues, Israel is likely to continue retaliatory air strikes on terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip, which left 25 Palestinians dead, the majority of them from terrorist groups.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak said: "We expect this ceasefire to continue but we cannot be sure, so our forces...are ready to continue if it will end up being necessary." He also praised Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system as "impressively effective" for limiting the damage by intercepting 56 of the rockets.

"If there is quiet on their part, there will be quiet on our part," said Israeli defence official Amos Gilad.

Last updated: 1:23pm, March 13 2012