Palestinians salvage belongings from the rubble of their home, following Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, on August 7, 2022. AFP
Egypt has intensified its contacts with the Palestinian and Israeli sides to encourage both parties in the enclave to agree to a permanent ceasefire, the sources stressed in remarks cited by Egypt's official news agency MENA.
A Palestinian official told Reuters earlier on Sunday that Israel and Islamic Jihad have agreed to a truce in the Gaza fighting, effective at 8pm on Sunday.
Egypt is set to formally announce the cease-fire agreement, Al-Jazeera reported citing unidentified sources.
The deal will include Israeli concessions to alleviate the Gaza Strip's fuel shortage. Within this context, Israel said that it will allow easing the blockade and the passage of fuel trucks to the strip’s power station on Monday.
The ceasefire plans come a day after President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said Egypt is exerting "big efforts," alongside partners, to restore stability and calm in the Gaza Strip and is contacting the Palestinians and Israelis to ensure that things do not get out of control.
Egypt also announced in a brief statement by the foreign ministry on Friday that it has intensified contact round the clock in an effort to contain the situation in Gaza, achieve calm, and protect lives and properties.
Fighting between Israel and militants in Gaza started on Friday when Israel assassinated prominent Islamic Jihad leader Taysir Al-Jaabari in Gaza in airstrikes, ending a year of calm in the enclave.
According to Palestinian authorities, at least 32 Palestinians including six children have been killed due to the Israeli airstrikes in the enclave with hundreds of rockets reportedly launched against Israeli cities from Gaza in retaliation. On Saturday, the Israeli forces said in a statement that they are prepared for a week of fighting against the Islamic Jihad.
The last major Israeli assault on Gaza was in May 2021, which killed around 250 Palestinians, including women and children, before an Egypt-brokered ceasefire ended hostilities.
The Israeli aggression last year has left the enclave in dire need of reconstruction work after destroying and damaging thousands of housing units and vital facilities and leaving scores of Gazans homeless after 11 days of airstrikes.
Over the past year, Egypt has maintained diplomatic and security contacts with both the Israeli and Palestinian sides to consolidate the ceasefire and pave the way for the resumption of the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
Egypt has also been carrying out the reconstruction work in the enclave, including building towns that are planned to accommodate hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, as El-Sisi pledged $500 million to rebuild Gaza in May 2021.