Palestinian militants link arms in unity during a gathering in 2007 in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas has ordered militant groups in Gaza to stop firing rockets into Israel, which could not only avoid another bloody invasion but signal progress toward a deal to release a captured Israeli soldier.
Hamas has won an agreement from other militant groups in Gaza to halt rocket fire into Israel for the first time in almost a year, a move that could signal progress on a deal to release a captured Israeli soldier.
The agreement, announced late yesterday, appears to be an attempt by the Palestinian Islamist movement to prevent another descent into conflict at a time when reconstruction has barely begun almost 12 months after the devastating conflict with Israel.
It also suggests more progress in secretly mediated talks to release Gilad Shalit, the soldier captured more than three years ago, in exchange for the return of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.