Middle East News

Israel Accepts, Hamas Rejects 24-Hour Ceasefire

As Palestinians return to their destroyed homes in Gaza during the 12-hour truce between Israel and Hamas militants, the war is set to resume after the latter rejected a U.N.-requested ceasefire.

Hamas fired a rocket into Israel Saturday evening despite requests from the U.N. for a 24-hour halt on the attacks, which Israel had accepted. The militants apparently protested the Israeli military’s continuing operations in the tunnels, which were not included in the ceasefire agreement.

It remains unclear on how things will unfold as the conflict enters its 20th day, The New York Times reported.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Sami Abu Zuhri” author_title=”Hamas spokesman”]

Any humanitarian cease-fire that doesn’t secure the withdrawal of occupation soldiers from inside Gaza’s borders, allow citizens back into homes, and secure the evacuation of the injured is unacceptable.


This came after Israel and Hamas accepted a 12-hour ceasefire on Saturday instead of a seven-day truce that would  coincide with Eid-Al Fitr, the day that marks the end of Ramadan.

International calls for a longer truce have grown louder as 147 bodies were recovered from beneath the rubble in Gaza during the 12-hour lull in the attacks. The death toll is now at 1,100 Palestinians, most of whom are civilians, CNN reported.

However, an end to the hostilities seemed to be far from over as both parties’ demands are still difficult to meet. Hamas wants the release of high-profile prisoners, the removal of Israel’s military blockade and lifting of Israel’s restrictions on fishing, farming and trade.

Israel, however, wants international assurance that Gaza will be demilitarized and wants to build a monitoring system to ensure that imported supplies would not be used to rebuild tunnels, The New York Times reported.

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