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Israel considering new Egypt ceasefire proposal

Aug. 25, 2014 10:18 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 26, 2014 8:30 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Egyptian sources told Ma'an on Monday that Cairo was awaiting an Israeli response on an Egyptian proposal to secure a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

The proposal includes opening the Rafah crossing, expanding the fishing area to six miles and opening Gaza’s trade crossings to allow reconstructing the enclave.

The sources added that Egypt presented the ceasefire proposal to Israel on Monday and that Israel promised to respond. Israeli officials showed "initial acceptance," one source said.

“The Palestinian factions agreed to the proposal and Egypt is expected to announce the acceptance of both parties to the ceasefire proposal tonight,” one of the sources said.

The official added: “Then serious negotiations will begin.”

A previous ceasefire to end the devastating conflict in Gaza collapsed on Aug. 19 after Egyptian mediators were unable to bridge the gaps between the two sides.

The conflict, now in its 49th day, has killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and 68 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Hamas has insisted that any long-term truce must end the eight-year blockade of Gaza and allow for an airport in the coastal strip that is flanked by Israel and Egypt.

Israel says it wants Hamas to disarm, something the militants have refused to discuss.
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