Israel accepts Gaza ceasefire proposal but Hamas rejects move
2014-07-15, 01:36 PM,
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Israel’s government voted on Monday to accept an Egyptian ceasefire proposal aimed at ending its eight-day-old conflict in the Gaza Strip with Hamas, but the Islamist group rejected it and hostilities continued between both sides overnight.
The Egyptian plan, floated by its foreign ministry on Monday, would see Israel and all Palestinian factions implement a ceasefire in the conflict that has killed more than 190 people and wounded at least 1,400 since July 7.

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Egypt also called for the opening of border crossings from Gaza to allow the movement of people and goods and for the two sides to discuss security and other issues after the “unconditional acceptance by both sides” of the agreement.

Israel’s security cabinet – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and nine other government ministers – voted to accept the proposal on Monday, but an Israeli government official said it would pursue its military assault “with greater power” if Hamas rejected it.

“The security cabinet has accepted the proposal,” Mark Regev, Mr Netanyahu’s spokesman said. “We are now waiting to see if the rockets from Gaza cease. If they continue shooting, it’s all off.”

On Monday morning, several loud booms were audible in central Gaza, and Israeli drones buzzed over the territory, where 1.8m Palestinians live. “There’s no change on the ground,” Lt Col Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces said, speaking shortly before Israel endorsed the proposed ceasefire. “The IDF is continuing its operation.”

Hamas’s military wing rejected the proposal as “an initiative of kneeling and submission” in a statement on its website.
“Our battle with the enemy continues and will increase in ferocity and intensity,” the group’s al-Qassam Brigades said in remarks quoted by Reuters. The group said that it had not officially received the text of the agreement.

Israel’s military said that overnight two rockets had struck the southern city of Eilat, injuring four people.

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