CAIRO/JERUSALEM, July 15 (Xinhua) -- According to a statement from the Israel' s Prime Minister' s Office, Israel's security cabinet accepted the Egyptian proposal on Tuesday morning to begin ceasefire at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday local time (0600 GMT).
The Egyptian initiative made on Monday demanded immediate ceasefire in Gaza and urged Israel to stop its aggressions toward the Palestinian people.
The move has been welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who urged both parties to be committed to the terms of the initiative to stop the bloodshed.
The Cairo-based Arab League (AL) has also supported Egypt's bid for a ceasefire in Gaza, calling on all parties to support it, according to a joint statement following their extraordinary ministerial meeting late Monday. [ The AL announced in the statement the formation of a ministerial committee "to head to the United Nations and demand putting an end to the Israeli aggression and providing guarantee of protection for the Palestinians."
Welcoming the initiative, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday that Israel has the right to defend itself against what he considered to be "inexcusable" attacks from Hamas militants, yet "the death and injury of Palestinian civilians is a tragedy, which is why we've emphasized the need to protect civilians."
Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Hamas movement, however, has rejected the propsoal, saying there would be no ceasefire before reaching an agreement.
"We reject any ceasefire before reaching a truce agreement," Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in Gaza said in an emailed press statement, adding that Hamas is still under occupation and resistance is the right of their people to defend themselves.
Abu Zuhri said they had not received any official initiative from any side. "If the published text of this initiative is correct, we only say that this is an initiative of subordination and submission, al-Qassam Brigades totally and completely rejects it," said the statement.
At least 185 Palestinians have been killed and around 1,400 injured since Israel launched the "Operation Protective Edge" on July 8. The Israeli military has dropped hundreds of tons of bombs into Hamas-controlled Gaza from air, land and sea, while Hamas and other Palestinian groups fired almost 1,000 rockets at Israel.
Egypt hoped to initiate talks between Israel and the Palestinian factions on a detailed agreement, based on a truce brokered by Cairo between Hamas and Israel in 2012.
"Escalation, violence, counter-violence and the resultant victims will not be in favor of any of the two parties," said the initiative.
The initiative urges both Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza "to stop all acts of aggression whether via land, sea or air," while opening border crossings to facilitate the traffic of people and goods in the light of stable security conditions on the ground.
GAZA, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Hamas movement, rejected early Tuesday an Egyptian initiative on ceasing fire with Israel, saying there would be no ceasefire before reaching an agreement, according to Hamas spokesman.Full story
WASHINGTON, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The United States is "encouraged" by Egypt's proposal for a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian factions and hopes it can restore calmness in the Middle East, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday.Full story