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Abbas set to announce ceasefire

Aug. 26, 2014 5:30 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 26, 2014 6:52 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday will declare a long-term ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, Ma'an has learned.

Sources told Ma'an that Abbas would declare a long-term ceasefire agreement at 7:00 p.m.

The head of the Palestinian negotiating team in Cairo, Azzam al-Ahmad, has contacted officials in countries all over the world urging them to exert every possible effort to reach an agreement to end the Israeli military offensive and respond to the needs of the war-torn coastal enclave.

For his part, deputy chief of Hamas' politburo Mousa Abu Marzouq wrote on his Twitter account that "talks have ended. We have reached understandings crowning our people's steadfastness and our resistance's triumph. We are awaiting a statement setting the zero point and end to the aggression."

A well-placed Palestinian source confirmed that Gaza border crossings would be open in tandem with an extended ceasefire.

The source explained that Egypt would issue a statement calling for a comprehensive and mutual ceasefire in tandem with opening Gaza crossings for entry of construction material.

The Gaza fishing zone will also be increased.

In addition, the source said, Israel has pledged to stop targeted assassinations against Palestinian resistance activists and faction leaders.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that a round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians would start in Cairo a month later to discuss the unresolved issues.

The Palestinian factions including Hamas and Islamic Jihad have accepted the newly reached ceasefire agreement which Israel also accepted, the source highlighted.

He added that Abbas would announce all terms and details of the agreement at 7 p.m.

Spokesman of the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees Abu Mujahid also told Ma'an that a permanent ceasefire agreement would be announced this evening.

He said the agreement would be based on the 2012 truce and would include opening Gaza crossing points permanently. He said opening crossings would mean an end to the Gaza siege, reconstruction of the enclave, removing the "no-go zone" and enlarging the Gaza fishing zone.

Israel's Channel 10 TV quoted Israeli officials as saying they agreed to a ceasefire.
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