The Palestinian group says through Egyptian and UN efforts it has been agreed to "return to the era of calm." Israel has not officially confirmed the cessation of hostilities.

Medics carry a wounded Palestinian as Israeli forces intervene to disperse protesting Palestinians taking part in the
Medics carry a wounded Palestinian as Israeli forces intervene to disperse protesting Palestinians taking part in the "Great March of Return" demonstration near the Israel-Gaza border at Al Bureyc refugee camp in Gaza City on Friday. (AA)

Israel and Hamas have agreed to restore calm in the Gaza Strip, a spokesman for Hamas, the group that rules the blockaded Gaza Strip, said on Saturday.

"With Egyptian and United Nations efforts it has been agreed to return to the era of calm between (Israel) and Palestinian factions," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Reuters.

The Israeli military declined to comment on the reported ceasefire. 

But calm returned to the streets of Gaza after Hamas' announcement of ceasefire agreement with Israel.

TRT World's Jemima Walker reports.

Israel's government and army rarely acknowledge ceasefires with Hamas, but a military spokeswoman said civilian life should return to normal in areas next to Gaza.

In what appeared to be an isolated incident, with no reports of casualties, an Israeli tank fired on a Hamas post in Gaza after Palestinian suspects breached Gaza's fence with Israel and entered Israeli territory before retreating back into Gaza, the military said. 

There were no other reports of unrest in the area.

Journalist Abd Elraouf Arnaout joins TRT World from occupied East Jerusalem with the latest.

Palestinian residents said the area was calm.

In a statement released on Friday and posted on the Hamas website, the organisation warned that Israel would pay a price for the latest deaths.

The statement said that Palestinians would continue to defend Gaza and that: "It's also the resistance's national duty to deter the Israeli Occupation from imposing its own rules of engagement upon innocent civilians."

"The resistance will continue to uphold this equation no matter the sacrifices made because the people of Palestine have full support for their resistance," it said.

TRT World spoke to journalist Mohammad Mansour who brings the latest from Malaka, eastern Gaza.

At least four Palestinians killed

Earlier at least four Palestinians were killed on Friday by Israeli forces near the Gaza-Israel fence, according to Gaza's Health Ministry officials.

Ashraf al Qidra, a spokesman of the ministry, confirmed the deaths but he did not provide the names or ages of the slain Palestinians.

According to Israeli military, one of its soldiers was also killed by what it said were snipers in Gaza.

The soldier was the first member of Israel's army to be killed on the Gaza front since a 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, a military spokesman said.

Israeli artillery units shelled several positions allegedly associated with Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007.

Palestinians inspect a military observation post that was hit by an Israeli tank shell east of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, July 20, 2018.
Palestinians inspect a military observation post that was hit by an Israeli tank shell east of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, July 20, 2018. (AP)

Great March of Return

For almost four months, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been holding almost daily demonstrations called "The Great March of Return" near the Gaza-Israel border.

Since the demonstrations began on March 30, more than 140 Palestinian protesters have been killed – and thousands more wounded – by Israeli army gunfire.

Protesters demand the "right of return" to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel's 11-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave's economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

Large-scale offensive

Using tanks, warplanes, and artillery fire, on Friday the Israeli army launched a major attack on the Gaza Strip, allegedly in response to gunfire towards its soldiers along the fence, according to Israeli sources.   

Israeli war jets are hovering over Gaza, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, but did not give any end date for the offensive.

A  man runs away from tear gas fired by Israeli forces to disperse Palestinians taking part in demonstrations near Israel-Gaza border at Al Bureyc refugee camp.
A man runs away from tear gas fired by Israeli forces to disperse Palestinians taking part in demonstrations near Israel-Gaza border at Al Bureyc refugee camp. (AA)

A written Israeli army statement said the army launched a large-scale assault targeting military points allegedly belonging to Hamas.

According to the Israeli media, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at army headquarters in Tel Aviv to review the situation in Gaza. 

No statements have been issued by Netanyahu.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies