GAZA, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) announced on Thursday that it halted firing rockets in response to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire reached with Israel.
A spokesman of Hamas armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said in a short recorded speech aired on the movement's Al-Aqsa Television that Hamas militants halted firing rockets at Israel in response to the ceasefire agreement.
"We had prepared strikes of rockets that cover all (Israel) from the city of Haifa in the north to Ramon in the south, but we responded to the ceasefire to watch the enemy's behavior until 2:00 a.m.," Abu Obeida, masked spokesman of Hamas armed wing said.
He added that "starting the rockets strikes depends on the behavior of the enemy (Israel) of totally halting its aggression on our people in the Gaza Strip."
Abu Obeida also said that "the leaders of the occupation (Israel) are under a real test and the decision to resume the rockets strikes on all Israel is on the table."
Earlier on Thursday, several Hamas leaders announced that the Egyptian mediator informed them that a ceasefire was reached with Israel and it will come into effect at 2:00 a.m. Jerusalem time.
Over the past 11 days of tension between Israel and Hamas-led militant groups in the Gaza Strip, militants fired hundreds of rockets at Israel, and Israeli fighter jets carried out hundreds of airstrikes on the besieged coastal enclave.
Israeli media outlets said that 12 Israelis were killed and more than 100 injured by the rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at towns and cities in central and southern Israel.
On Thursday, the health ministry in Gaza said that 232 Palestinians were killed, including 65 children, 39 women and 17 elderly, adding that 1,900 were injured in the last 11 days of Israeli-Palestinian tension in the Gaza Strip.