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Israel Rejects Hamas Truce Proposal


Israel has dismissed a six-month truce proposal from the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

An Israeli government spokesman, David Baker, Friday suggested Hamas was only offering a cease-fire in order to recover and re-arm following recent fighting.

Hamas officials told Egyptian mediators Thursday that they would agree to a six-month truce in the Gaza strip, followed by a truce in the West Bank. In exchange, Israel was to cease military action, and lift its blockade of Gaza.

In violence Friday, Israeli military officials say Palestinian militants killed two Israeli security guards at a factory near the West Bank town of Tulkarem.

Hamas and another militant group, Islamic Jihad, both claimed responsibility for the attack.

In an earlier development, the United Nations stopped distributing food to Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, citing a lack of fuel for its delivery trucks.

A spokesman for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, Adnan Abu Hasna, says some 700,000 refugees who depend on the U.N. for basic food packets will be affected.

He says the agency used the last of its fuel on Thursday. Hospitals and clinics are also said to be running low on fuel.

Complicating matters, news reports say some Gaza residents are protesting the fuel stoppages by blocking the distribution of available fuel.

Israel shipped fuel to Gaza Wednesday to keep its sole power plant running. But it maintains a ban on gasoline and diesel fuel in a bid to halt militant Palestinian rocket attacks on Israelis.

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

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