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Abbas to send delegation to Cairo to discuss truce with Israel

English.news.cn   2014-08-01 23:08:02

GAZA, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday that he will send a comprehensive national delegation to Cairo to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire issue, despite the collapse of a 72-hour UN-proposed humanitarian truce, the state-run Wafa news agency reported.

The delegation will include representatives from Abbas' Fatah party, three left-wing factions, the Hamas movement and the Islamic jihad group.

Head of the left-wing People Party Bassam al-Salhi told Xinhua that the delegation was supposed to fly to Cairo earlier on Friday, but the visit was delayed due to the recent developments in Gaza.

The Palestinians are committed to what has been agreed upon under the UN-mediated cease-fire, he said, noting that the Palestinians also have the right to respond to any Israeli " aggressions."

The Israeli military said a U.S./UN backed 72-hour cease-fire in Gaza that went into effect earlier on Friday is over, as military operations continued on the ground.

A Gaza Health Ministry spokesman said that the first violation of the cease-fire was when Israeli tanks shelled Rafah town and wounded six Palestinians, one in critical condition. Later on Friday, the spokesman said that around 70 Palestinians were killed and 200 wounded by the intensive tanks shells on the town.

Residents in Rafah said that Israeli tanks and war jets heavily and intensively struck the town, where several shells fell on a public market in the center of the town killing and wounding dozens. They said Israel's ground operations are still going on there.

Israel, meanwhile, denounced a "flagrant breach" of the 72-hour truce less than four hours after it started, saying Hamas had resumed rocket fire on Israel. But Hamas said the operation was carried out one hour before the cease-fire came into effect.

Israel also said two soldiers were killed on Friday and a third

one may have been kidnapped early in the day by Gaza militants during clashes in the southern Gaza Strip. A Hamas spokesperson said Israel's announcement of the "abduction" only aims to divert attention from its breach of the cease-fire agreement.

Since Israel started the offensive on Gaza on July 8, at least 1,480 Palestinians have been killed and some 8,000 others injured. On the Israeli side, at least 63 soldiers and three civilians, including a Thai national, were killed.

Unremitting regional and international efforts to end the ongoing fighting have so far failed to reach a prolonged cease- fire.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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