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Hamas mulls Egypt's ceasefire as Israel resumes strikes

Israel carried out at least four air strikes on Tuesday as an Egyptian-proposed truce fell through, according to news reports

Ahram Online , Tuesday 15 Jul 2014
Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City, Tuesday, July 15, 2014 (Photo: AP)

Hamas is still debating an Egyptian-proposed Gaza truce, a top official from the Palestinian group said on Tuesday, as rocket fire from the territory into Israel continued for more than two hours after the ceasefire was meant to go into effect, reported Reuters.

"We are still in consultation and there has been no official position made by the [Hamas] movement regarding the Egyptian proposal," Moussa Abu Marzouk, who was in Cairo, said in a tweet. 

Israel carried out at least four air strikes against Gaza on Tuesday afternoon, resuming attacks after the truce failed to get off the ground, AFP correspondents and eyewitnesses said.

 "Following six hours of indiscriminate rocket fire at Israel, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have resumed operational activities against Hamas," military spokesman Lieutenant Peter Lerner said on his Twitter account.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior Israeli official told AFP that the military had been ordered to "act forcefully".

"After Hamas and Islamic Jihad refused the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire and fired dozens of rockets at Israel, the prime minister and defence minister have ordered the IDF to act forcefully against the terror targets in Gaza," said the official.

Earlier on Tuesday, Israel's security cabinet accepted an Egyptian ceasefire proposal, a government spokesman said, after a week of the deadliest violence in and around Gaza since fighting broke out in 2012.

"The cabinet has decided to accept the Egyptian initiative for a ceasefire starting at 9am today," Ofir Gendelman, spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Twitter.

The death toll from Israel's week-long attack on Gaza, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, rose Tuesday to 192 Palestinians.


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