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Abbas says he hopes for Gaza ceasefire

July 24, 2014 8:58 P.M. (Updated: July 25, 2014 11:12 P.M.)
AMMAN (AFP) -- President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he hopes a ceasefire can be agreed in Gaza as the Palestinian death toll on day 17 of an Israeli offensive topped 780 people.

"So far, there is hope for a ceasefire," Abbas said after meeting Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman, a palace statement said.

"We have to wait ... and insist that ending the fighting is the only solution to ease the Palestinian suffering and end the bloodshed. Everybody should work on that," it quoted him as saying.

Abbas said an Egyptian truce proposal that had been accepted by Israel and rejected by Hamas "should be approved."

"It has already been approved. A ceasefire will be reached in line with the Egyptian initiative before launching negotiations about certain demands," he added.

"We have a lot of demands, after that we will discuss what would happen in the future."

US Secretary of State John Kerry sought on Thursday in Cairo to further regional efforts to broker an end to the bloodshed, reaching out to Turkey and Qatar, both allies of the Islamist Hamas.

Kerry is seeking to garner support for the Cairo-drafted proposal, with an official saying he had spoken to his counterparts in Doha and Ankara in the hope they would use their influence to encourage Hamas to accept a ceasefire.

Hamas has demanded that any ceasefire deal include an end to Israel's eight-year blockade on Gaza.

"What is happening in Gaza should push for creating an atmosphere to give momentum to the peace process and resume negotiations to avert more violence in the region," said King Abdullah II, whose country has a 1994 peace treaty with Israel.
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