Egypt announces Israel, Hamas cease-fire in Gaza

Egypt announces Israel, Hamas cease-fire in Gaza

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Egypt announces Israel, Hamas cease-fire in Gaza

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by Sarah Lynch and Katharine Lackey, USA TODAY

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 26, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 26 at 12:10 PM

CAIRO (USA TODAY) — Egypt announced a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas will go into effect at 7 p.m. local time Tuesday as Israeli and Hamas officials confirmed the deal.

The truce signals an end to a seven-week war that has left more than 2,200 dead on both sides.

"The negotiations have ended and we have reached understandings that underscore the steadfast stance of the Palestinian people with the victory of the resistance," Hamas' deputy leader in Cairo, Moussa Abu Marzouk said, according to Haaretz. "We are waiting for an official announcement to set the final hour and announce a cease-fire and an end to Israeli aggression."

Ziad Nakhala, a senior official in Islamic Jihad, another faction fighting in Gaza, told the Associated Press the truce calls for an "open-ended" cease-fire, and an Israeli agreement to ease its blockade.


The Israeli and Egyptian blockades on Gaza have been a sticking point in ongoing negotiations between the two sides, which have been meeting in Cairo to nail down a truce. Hamas has continued to demand Israel and Egypt lift their blockades, which it says prevents economic development and supplies from entering the region. Israel, meanwhile, has demanded that the Islamic militant group disarm.

The truce also calls for new meetings a month from now when Israeli and Palestinian officials can discuss the construction of a Gaza seaport and the release of Hamas prisoners, Reuters reported.

In recent days, Israeli airstrikes have targeted high-rise buildings, including apartments, along the Gaza Strip, hitting five towers and shopping complexes since Saturday in an apparent tactic aimed to increase pressure on Hamas. Occupants were warned of the impending strikes beforehand.

Meanwhile, a last-minute burst of mortar shells fired from Gaza before the cease-fire killed an Israeli and wounded two others, medics said. The latest death raises the Israeli toll in the conflict to 69, including five civilians and 64 soldiers, according to the Israeli military.

Since July 8, more than 2,000 Palestinians have died in the war, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Lackey reported from McLean, Va. Contributing: The Associated Press

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