CAIRO/ JERUSALEM: Israel and the Palestinians have agreed a new 72-hour Gaza ceasefire that would start at 0500 GMT Tuesday, said a senior official in Egypt, which is hosting truce talks.
"Egypt's contacts with relevant parties have achieved a commitment for a 72-hour truce in Gaza starting from 0500 GMT tomorrow morning, and an agreement for the rest of the relevant delegations to come to Cairo to conduct further negotiations," the official told AFP.
A Palestinian delegation, including Hamas representatives, has been holding talks in Cairo with Egyptian mediators for a durable truce in Gaza, but Israel has not yet sent any negotiators to the Egyptian capital.
"The Palestinians have agreed to a ceasefire proposed by Egypt," Azzam al-Ahmed, leader of the Palestinian delegation, told reporters in Cairo.
There was no immediate comment from Israel.
Israel says more Gaza missions despite destroying tunnels
The Israeli army said on Monday that it still has many missions to carry out in Gaza despite destroying all of the known tunnels militants use to attack its territory.
"We will not leave; we will stay in the Gaza Strip; there are many more missions to complete," army spokesperson Moti Almoz said on Channel 2 television.
"All of the tunnels we have located have been destroyed," he said, adding however that "talking about the end of the mission against the tunnels doesn't mean talking about an end to the Gaza mission."
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Deadly and continuous Israeli strikes causing loss of lives / destruction of properties with no sign of stoppage and selective support from the neighboring / international communities left Hamas with less choices but to agree on a cease fire of longer duration. The irony is that there is little hope of easing out of blockade by Israel and also Egypt. Three weeks of bombardment has snatched the patience of Gazans causing erosion of faith in Hamas as the savior. violence begets violence though the same may not be a matching one. Firing of rockets gave the excuse which Israelis were looking for. Struggle ( Jihad ) is not only fight with weapons( brute force) but Jihad can be be on other fronts like economy, education, population, garnering support from immediate neighbors and the international community for their rights proving them as just along with countering the arguments of oppositions. strategies are needed to be changed.