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Israel and Hamas agree on 72-hour cease-fire


08-11-2014 06:57 BJT

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JERUSALEM, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Israel accepted the Egyptian proposal to conduct another 72-hour ceasefire starting from Monday at 1:00 a.m. local time (2100 GMT), an Israeli official told Xinhua.

Israel and Hamas lulled fighting for 72 hours from Tuesday to Friday morning. Despite last minute efforts to extend the cease fire, Hamas resumed firing rockets at southern Israeli communities Friday morning, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) retaliated with air strikes and artillery fire.

An Israeli delegation was dispatched to Cairo last week to discuss a permanent truce with the Palestinian delegation via Egyptian mediators during the truce. The delegation returned to Israel on Friday shortly before the ceasefire expired.

Negotiations continued throughout Sunday between the Palestinian delegation, made out of members of all Palestinian factions, and Egyptian officials, as Egypt is the current mediator in the efforts to reach a permanent cease fire.

Palestinian militants continued to launch rockets on Sunday. Nearly 30 rockets were fired at southern Israel throughout the day, the IDF spokesperson said, adding that the army struck dozens of targets, including a launcher of mortar shells and two militants about to launch missiles into Israel.

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