Gaza/Jerusalem, July 26 IANS | 5 months ago

The Islamic Hamas movement has agreed on a 12-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip starting from Saturday morning, a Hamas official said late Friday night.

Hamas spokesperson in Gaza Sami Abu Zohri said in a statement that Hamas and other Palestinian factions have agreed to a 12-hour halt of fighting proposed by the UN, which starts from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

It's the second pause of fighting since Israel and Hamas fighters started their fierce cross-border violence July 8.

Earlier on Friday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed on a ceasefire proposal brought by US Secretary of State John Kerry which starts Saturday morning, according to Ynet news website.

The Israeli security cabinet had previously rejected a pause on the military attack in Gaza, as jointly requested by Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Cairo Friday.

Shortly after the rejection, Kerry said confidently that Israel is committed to finding a solution for a ceasefire in Gaza, and that there is more work to do to reach a deal on a seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas.

Egypt, the UN, Arab League and the US are working together to reach a seven-day "humanitarian ceasefire" for the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza-ruling Hamas movement.

Last week, Egypt proposed a truce but was rejected by Hamas who demanded a comprehensive solution and an end to the Israeli blockade of the restive enclave.

Despite the ceasefire efforts, Israeli airstrikes killed nine more Palestinians in the Gaza Strip Friday night, raising the total death toll caused by Israel's military operation in Hamas-ruled territory to 864 in 19 days, mostly civilians. More than 5,730 Palestinians were also injured, while Israel lost 35 lives, including civilians and military.

(Posted on 26-07-2014)

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