Israel on Thursday delivered a message to Hamas via Egypt saying that it has no intention of deteriorating the volatile situation along the border with the Gaza Strip, local daily Ha'aretz reported.
Aides to caretaker Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and stressed that "Israel will not be the first to breach the lull," the report quoted a senior diplomatic official as saying.
The official added that the current situation across the Israel-Gaza border is highly volatile, as numerous intelligence tips indicated that Hamas is planning to launch cross-border attacks and abduct Israeli soldiers through underground tunnels or infiltrations.
"As long as Hamas and the other organizations undertake actions that violate the calm, we will not hesitate to act," the diplomat was quoted as saying.
For its part, Hamas said that it is also interested in maintaining the five-month-old Egypt-brokered truce, which has been rattled by clashes since last week when Israeli paratroopers killed six Hamas gunmen in a Gaza operation and the Gaza-ruler responded with a barrage of rockets.
Meanwhile, a Hamas spokesman told Ha'aretz that the militant group would not observe the truce from a position of weakness, and accused that Israel has not eased the movement of people and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip as required by the truce deal.
Throughout Thursday, several rockets fired from the strip hit southern Israel, causing no injuries or damage, a day after Israeli troops shot dead four Hamas members who they said were trying to plant a bomb near the border fence.
In response, the Jewish state decided to drop a previous plan and keep the border crossings shut on Thursday, holding back the delivery of much-needed fuel and truckloads of humanitarian resources into the poverty-stricken area.
Recent flare-ups have raised concerns that the shaky truce, which both sides had generally honored before, might collapse as its initial six-month phase is approaching the end, although Israeli officials have voiced willingness to extend the deal.