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8 killed as Israel shells Gaza despite ceasefire: Reports

Ahram Online, Friday 1 Aug 2014
Gaza
An Israeli armored vehicle stirs up dust near the Israel Gaza border, Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (Photo: AP)
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Eight people were killed and six injured on Friday after Israeli artillery shells and airstrikes hit a number of sites on the Gaza Strip, Sky News Arabia reported.

The news website also added that members of the Palestinians factions and Israel's military troops clashed in central Gaza's Bureij camp.

Israel's Yediot Ahronot newspaper however claimed that the injuries were caused when a mortar fired from Gaza towards Israel fell inside the Gaza Strip.

The reports came after the announcement by US Secretary of State John Kerryand the UN early on Friday morning of an agreement between Israel and Hamas of a 72-hour ceasefire.

Kerry said the two sides would begin the truce at 8am local time (0500 GMT) and that Israelis and Palestinians would begin talks in Cairo.

The top US diplomat said the ceasefire would last for 72 hours "unless extended."

"During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place," Kerry said in a joint statement with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has also been shuttling around the Middle East.

"This ceasefire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence," the statement said.

Egypt's foreign ministry said that Cairo has invited Israel and the Palestinian Authority to send delegates to Cairo for truce talks after the 72-hour ceasefire deal.

The delegations will include representative of Hamas in Gaza.

Senior Hamas official Ezzat Al-Rishq told AFP more talks were needed on finding a solution to the blockade of the coastal enclave. "More efforts are needed," he said in a telephone interview from Doha, where Hamas's political leadership is based.

"But now the whole world knows Gaza will not accept a siege."

The delegations are expected to start arriving in Cairo later Friday.

Frank Lowenstein, the US Middle East envoy, was also expected to depart on Friday to the Egyptian capital, a State Department official said.

So far, the Palestinian death toll reached 1,450 since the beginning of the Israeli offensive on Gaza on July 8. On the Israel side, 61 people were killed.

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