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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

World

Israel, Hamas agree on long-term Gaza truce
AFP
Ramallah, August 26, 2014
First Published: 19:33 IST(26/8/2014)
Last Updated: 08:31 IST(27/8/2014)

The Palestinians have reached agreement with Israel on a "permanent" truce for Gaza, a senior official told AFP on Tuesday, in a move Hamas hailed as a "victory."

There was no immediate comment from Israel on the claimed deal to end seven weeks of deadly conflict in and around the territory.

The Palestinian official gave no time for when a ceasefire would take effect but said president Mahmud Abbas would give further details in a speech from his West Bank headquarters at 1600 GMT.

Israelis sit inside an apartment damaged when a rocket, fired from Gaza, struck a nearby house in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon. (AFP photo)

"The contacts that have been going on have led to a permanent ceasefire, a (deal to) end the blockade and a guarantee that Gaza's demands and needs will be met," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Islamist Hamas movement, de facto ruler of Gaza and party to the Abbas-led efforts to agree a truce, also said a deal had been struck with Israel.

"The negotiations ended with an agreement which embodies the resistance of our people and a victory for the resistance," its exiled deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzuk wrote on his Facebook page.

The Palestinian official told AFP the truce deal had been finalised after 48 hours of intensive shuttle diplomacy by Azzam al-Ahmed, head of the Palestinian delegation to the protracted, on-off truce talks.

Palestinian residents inspect the remains of Al-Basha, a building that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City.(AFP photo)

"Over the past 48 hours, he has been shuttling between the leadership of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, all the factions, and Egyptian leaders, travelling between Ramallah, Gaza, Doha overseas," he said.

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Egypt was expected to make an official announcement of the deal.


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