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Israel-Gaza truce on cards after deadly weekend

There are reports of a possible ceasefire between the Gaza Strip and Israel following the most deadly exchange of rocket fire since a prisoner exchange between the two sides.

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Relatives of a killed Palestinian cry at the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City following a Israeli air strike on October 30, 2011 evening. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)

There are reports of a possible cease fire between the Gaza Strip and Israel following the most deadly exchange of rocket fire since a prisoner exchange between the two sides.

The Jerusalem Post said Israel was in contact with “international actors” Sunday morning in an attempt to bring about the cease fire, but Israeli officials said the exchange of fire was continuing.

According to the Israeli National News, senior Israeli defense sources said there were “advanced efforts” to bring about a cease fire, with the help of “international assistance.”

Read more on GlobalPost: Gilad Shalit back in Israel after prisoner swap (VIDEO)

There were mixed media reports as the whether Egyptian officials, brokering the cease fire, had been successful in persuading Gaza's Islamic Jihad group to stop their attacks.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel carried out six air strikes in the Gaza Strip overnight Saturday, and that “nine Palestinian terrorists were killed”.

The paper said:

One Israeli was killed and several injured from rocket fire from the Strip over the weekend. Eleven rockets were fired into Israel Sunday morning and nearly 40 were launched in the past 24 hours.

According to the BBC, the violence could jeopardize the release of about 500 Palestinian prisoners due to be freed later this year as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas, which governs Gaza.

On October 18, Israel released 477 Palestinian prisoners in the first part of the prisoner swap deal, which secured the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/111030/israel-gaza-ceasefire-prisoner-swap