Palestinians inspect the Said al-Mis’hal cultural centre building after it was hit during an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on Thursday. Picture : Khalil Hamra/AP

The Israel-Gaza border was quiet yesterday after an Egyptian-brokered truce ended a surge in violence that had shaken southern Israel and the Gaza Strip for two days.
But the ceasefire was expected to face its first test yesterday as Palestinians in Gaza planned on resuming weekly border protests, which at times were violent.

After a quiet night, Israel’s military told residents in the south, who had spent much of the past two days in rocket shelters, they could return to their daily routines.

A rise in cross-border rockets and air strikes in recent weeks has prompted the UN and Egypt to try to broker a truce to prevent another all-out conflict.

Since the escalation on Wednesday, Palestinian militants fired scores of rockets including a long-range missile deep into Israel and Israeli aircraft struck more than 150 targets in Gaza.

A pregnant Palestinian woman and her 18-month-old child died in the Israeli attacks, as did a Hamas militant. Seven people were wounded by Palestinian rockets in Israel.

Palestinian officials said a truce had been reached with Egyptian mediation. There was no formal comment from Israel. - Reuters