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Israel, Palestinians Agree to New 72-hour Truce

  • VOA News

Officials said Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to a new 72-hour cease-fire in Gaza, providing the warring sides another chance to broker a comprehensive cease-fire.

Egypt said Sunday the new truce would start within hours (at 2100 GMT, 5 p.m. EDT) and clears the path for renewed negotiations in Cairo to end more than a month of fighting between the Hamas militants who run Gaza and neighboring Israel.

A similar 72-hour truce ended abruptly Friday, with Hamas resuming its rocket attacks on the Jewish state and Israel restarting its aerial bombardment of the Palestinian enclave along the Mediterranean Sea.

Egypt mediated the latest truce, as it had last week's aborted cease-fire. Israel had left the talks in Cairo on Friday, the same day the previous 72-hour cease-fire expired with no progress made toward a longer-term truce.

'Take time, require patience'

Earlier Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Jewish state would not return to truce talks in Cairo unless Hamas militants stopped their rocket fire into Israel.

"It will take time and will require patience. Israel will not negotiate under fire. Israel will continue to act in every way to change the current reality and to bring quiet to all its citizens," Netanyahu said.

"We will stand together in unity and determination until we complete the mission," he added.

Even as Israel and the Palestinians agreed on a new truce, there was more violence.

Israeli soldiers killed an 11-year-old boy in the occupied West Bank in response to what it said was a "violent riot" near Hebron. The youth's relatives said he was playing in front of his house when he was struck by gunfire.

The youth's relatives said he was playing in front of his house when he was struck by gunfire.

A month of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and turned entire neighborhoods into piles of rock, rubble and dust.

Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed.

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