A shaky truce between the Israeli military and Palestinian militants appeared to hold Tuesday, despite reports of some rockets being fired into Israel.
"It is relatively quiet this morning. It appears that we have reached the end of this round of violence," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday. The Israel Defense Forces "demonstrated once again that we will take out anyone who tries to act against us."
While there seemed to be consensus that a cease-fire, brokered by Egypt, had been reached, each side appeared to have a different interpretation of what the agreement entailed.
The Palestinian militant group responsible for firing rockets from Gaza into Israel during the past four days said it agreed to a cease-fire after Israel had agreed to end a recent campaign of airstrikes and assassinations of Palestinian militant leaders.
"When Israel agreed to these two conditions with Egyptian assurances and meditation, then Islamic Jihad and all the Palestinian resistance factions agreed on a reciprocal cease-fire in the Gaza strip," said Khaled al-Batsh, the Gaza-based leader of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, which boasted of launching dozens of heavy rockets and mortars into Israel during the course of hostilities between the Israeli military and Gaza militant groups.
Israel denied Tuesday that it had agreed to stop the practice of targeted killings in Gaza, arguing that it remained a legitimate tool to fight terrorism.
"Targeting such mega-terrorists is the best way to save lives," argued senior Israeli defense official Amos Gilad. On Friday, the Israeli military fired a missile at a vehicle carrying Zuhair al-Qaisy, a leader in the Palestinian militant group known as the Popular Resistance Committees.
Military officials say al-Qaisy was targeted because he was planning a terrorist attack on Israel. The strike prompted retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza leading to four days of hostilities between the Israeli military and Gaza-based militant groups.
Twenty-five Palestinians were killed in the fighting and hundred of rockets were fired toward civilian population centers in southern Israel. Fourteen of the Palestinian victims belonged to the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad. At least 80 others were injured.
The Israeli military said suspected militants fired three rockets and mortars into Israel early Tuesday.
"We must appreciate the public's endurance and cooperation while following the ongoing situation," IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said. "Calm will be reciprocated with calm, and fire will be reciprocated with fire."
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, submitted a letter to the secretary-general Tuesday criticizing the lack of strong U.N. action on the rockets fired from Gaza.
"It is time for the Security Council to speak with one voice against the terrorism that continues to flow from Gaza," he wrote. "The situation is grave. If one rocket lands in the wrong place at the wrong time, Israel will be forced to respond in a completely different manner."
The cease-fire agreement was reached with the help of Egyptian mediators, an Egyptian intelligence official said.
The deal came even as Egypt's parliament voted unanimously to suspend diplomatic relations with Israel and halt the export of gas to its neighbor in a symbolic but telling move.
The Islamist-dominated parliament voted by a show of hands in support of the motion against the Jewish state.
The vote will not affect the current political relations between the two countries since the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is the only authority allowed to make such decisions after the ouster of former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak last year.
The fighting was the worst outbreak of violence in Gaza this year and comes as Israel and the world's attention has been largely focused on Iran and Syria.