Germany welcomes Israel's ceasefire with Hamas
German officials welcome a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and hope for its success
Berlin -- The German Foreign Ministry on Wednesday welcomed the announcement of an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire between Israel and the militant Hamas group aimed at ending months of violence in the Gaza Strip.
The accord has the potential to improve security in Israel as well as the economic situation of the people in Gaza, spokesman Martin Jaeger said.
The truce is due to take effect at 6 am (0300 GMT) on Thursday, after which Israel is expected to ease crossing restrictions after 24 hours.
Israel imposed a blockade of the Gaza Strip in response to near daily rocket and mortar attacks on its southern towns and villages and tightened it after Hamas seized sole control of Gaza in June 2007.
Jaeger said the German government hoped the truce is adhered to by all Palestinian groups in Gaza and that missile attacks against Israeli targets are stopped.
"Germany welcomes any agreement with the goal of stopping bloodshed," said the spokesman, who also thanked Egypt for its efforts in bringing about the ceasefire.
The terms of the truce also cover indirect negotiations on a prisoners exchange that would include the release of an Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas for the past two years.