Gaza conflict: Israel and Palestinians ‘agree ceasefire’

Israel held its own seven-hour “humanitarian window” in Gaza on Monday but then resumed its military operations.

Health officials in Gaza say more than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed in the four-week conflict, which has also claimed 67 Israeli lives.

A Thai national working in Israel was also killed.

‘Without preconditions’

There have been several truces called during the conflict but none has lasted, with each side accusing the other of violations.

The latest was discussed on Monday by various Palestinian groups in Cairo, although Israel did not attend.

However, a senior Israeli official later told the BBC: “Israel will accept the draft of the Egyptian proposal for an unconditional ceasefire, without preconditions and for 72 hours, starting tomorrow at 08:00.”

Azzam al-Ahmed, leader of the Palestinian delegation, said: “The Palestinians have agreed to a ceasefire proposed by Egypt.”

Egypt negotiated a similar truce earlier in the conflict that was accepted by Israel but rejected by Hamas, which controls Gaza.

The new agreement proposes that delegations from all sides then attend further talks in Cairo.

The main Palestinian demands remain on the table, notably a full Israeli troop withdrawal from Gaza, the end of the blockade of the territory and the opening of border crossings.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said again on Monday that Israel’s main goal was to “return quiet and security to the citizens of Israel”.

Speaking after the seven-hour truce ended, he also said that the military operation would not end until all tunnels used by militants to infiltrate Israel were destroyed.

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