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Sunday, August 10, 2014

AP: Hamas has accepted 'cease fire'

After a barrage of rockets headed toward the Ashkelon area, AP is reporting that Hamas has accepted a 72-hour 'humanitarian cease fire.'
Palestinian negotiators on Sunday said they had accepted an Egyptian proposal for a new 72-hour truce with Israel, clearing the way for a possible resumption of talks on a long-term cease-fire arrangement in the Gaza Strip.
Israel had walked away from cease-fire talks over the weekend, after militants resumed their rocket fire on southern Israel with the expiration of an earlier three-day truce. Sunday's decision was aimed at bringing the Israelis back to the negotiations. There was no immediate Israeli response.
"We are here to look for an agreement. We cannot have an agreement without talks, so we accepted an Egyptian proposal to have a cease-fire for 72 hours in order to resume the talks," said a Palestinian negotiator.
He, along with other Palestinian negotiators who confirmed the decision, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations with the media.
"Israel will not negotiate under fire," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, warning his country's military campaign "will take time."
Hamas is seeking an end to an Israeli-Egypt blockade that has decimated the local economy.
Israel says the blockade is needed to prevent arms smuggling, and it says Hamas must disarm as part of any long-term arrangement. Hamas has said handing over its weapons arsenal, which is believed to include several thousand remaining rockets, is inconceivable.
Given what happened in Lebanon, Israel does not put much stock in letting international forces take care of our security problems. It seems more likely right now that we will try to reach a military solution. Our government certainly does not seem anxious for a cease fire.

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