GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A cease-fire between Israel and Hamas meant to last at least three days and end nearly a month of fighting went into effect in the Gaza Strip in Tuesday morning. The truce came ahead of talks in Cairo aimed at brokering a deal that would prevent future cross-border violence.
The temporary truce, agreed to by both sides, started at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) and was to last for 72 hours during which Israel and Hamas are to hold indirect talks in the Egyptian capital.
The fighting has claimed nearly 1,900 Palestinian lives — most of them civilians. The war has also left 67 Israelis dead, all but three of them soldiers.
Previous international attempts to broker a temporary halt in the fighting failed.
The gaps between the sides are vast and the situation remains volatile — just minutes ahead of the start of the truce, shelling still echoed across Gaza.
Hamas wants Israel and Egypt to lift their seven-year-old Gaza border blockade. Israel wants Hamas to be disarmed.
Earlier Tuesday, the Israeli military announced that all its ground troops will have pulled out of Gaza by the start of the new cease-fire.
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said the withdrawal was going forward after Israel completed the destruction of 32 cross-border tunnels that were built for Islamic militant attacks inside Israel.
During the course of the fighting, Israeli forces killed some 900 Palestinian militants, Lerner said.
The war broke out on July 8 when Israel launched an air offensive in response to weeks of heavy rocket fire out of Hamas-controlled Gaza. It expanded the operation on July 17 by sending in ground forces in what it described as a mission to destroy a network of tunnels used to stage attacks.
Israeli tanks and warplanes bombarded the Gaza Strip on Thursday, as Hamas militants stuck to their demand for the lifting of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade amid U.S. efforts to reach a cease-fire. GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) —The 16-day … read more
Israel on Wednesday intensified air attacks on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip following a failed Egyptian cease-fire effort, targeting the homes of four senior leaders of the Islamic militant movement. It also told tens of thousands of residents to … read more
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns Hamas that Israel will intensify its week-long campaign against Gaza militants if Hamas rejects an Egyptian-proposed cease-fire. The truce was supposed to go into effect early on Tuesday morning but the Israeli military says … read more
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel widened its air assault against the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers on Saturday, hitting a mosque, Hamas-affiliated charities and an Islamic home for the disabled, as Palestinians said the death toll from the five-day … read more
Israeli air strikes on Gaza and Palestinian militant rocket fire into Israel have continued overnight as the conflict’s death toll rises. One hundreds Gazans have died since Tuesday, Palestinian officials say. Israel says “dozens of terrorists” are among the dead. … read more
It’s the holy month of Ramadan, when people throughout the Muslim world meet with friends and family, buy presents for loved ones and break a day-long fast each evening amid colorful street scenes. But not in Gaza City, one of … read more
Israeli airstrikes targeting Hamas in Gaza hit a mosque its military says concealed the militant group’s weapons, as the Palestinian death toll topped 120 Saturday in an offensive that showed no signs of slowing down. Israel launched its campaign five … read more