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Palestinian Official: Rival Factions Hamas, Fatah Declare Ceasefire


A Palestinian official says the rival factions Hamas and Fatah have declared a ceasefire, effective Tuesday at 3 a.m. local time.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar says the two sides agreed to take all gunmen off the streets of Gaza.

He announced the ceasefire after a meeting between Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of the ruling Hamas group and President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah. Egyptian mediators participated in the talks.

Five straight days of factional fighting in the Gaza Strip has left more than 30 people dead, including several children. Palestinian officials say five people were killed Monday in the clashes.

Some of the most intense fighting has happened in a heavily populated part of Gaza City.

The violence is the deadliest between the two groups since Hamas defeated Fatah in parliamentary elections one year ago.

Hamas and Fatah accuse each other of provoking the violence, which has derailed efforts to form a unity government.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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