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Page last updated at 09:54 GMT, Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Ceasefire agreed following Gaza clashes


Egypt has mediated a truce between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in Gaza, after four days of deadly clashes.

Mustafa Barghouti, former Palestinian presidential candidate and independent member of the Palestinian parliament, claimed that Israel provoked the attack which killed 27 Palestinians including women and children.

If Israel respects the ceasefire, he said there will be "complete commitment" from Palestinians to non-violent resistance.

He went on to say that rockets have never been fired into Israel except as a response to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

He told the Today programme's Evan Davis that the vast majority of Palestinians are for "abstaining from any form of military action" and rocket attacks were only in self defence.

Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich, head of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Foreign Press Branch said "when Palestinians stop firing rockets, Israel will not have to defend itself."

She said that "the ongoing terror attacks are continuing" and that 20 Israelis have been wounded in the last few days including an 80-year-old woman and children.

"We are doing everything we can to defend one million Israelis", she said.

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