GAZA/JERUSALEM, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian sources said Monday a new ceasefire agreement between the Palestinians and Israel is expected to be reached soon, but Israel has not released any statement in response.
A source in Hamas movement told Xinhua that intensive contacts are being made between Egypt, which mediates the negotiations, and Hamas leaders in Qatar.
The source said an announcement will be made by the Egyptian foreign ministry within the next few hours.
The source added that the deal meets the Palestinians' demands presented recently to Egypt after the Egypt-hosted and -mediated indirect ceasefire negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed Tuesday after nine days of discussions.
Another source in the office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Xinhua that the coming hours will witness a permanent ceasefire agreement between the Palestinians and Israel under Egyptian auspices.
The new deal is based on the principles and terms of the Egyptian-mediated truce deal of 2012, the source revealed, adding that the Palestinian side has accepted the deal, but is still awaiting Israel's response, though there is a preliminary approval from the Israeli side.
Hamas, the de facto ruler of Gaza, said it will study any offer. Abbas left Cairo on Sunday after a two-day official visit during which he met with his Egyptian counterpart Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. Earlier, Abbas had met in Doha with Prince of Qatar Tamim Ben Hamad and Hamas chief Khaled Mishal.
Conditions put forward by the Palestinian delegation include ending the Israeli offensive on Gaza, lifting the eight-year blockade on Gaza, extending Gaza's fishing zone as well as creating a maritime route between Gaza and Cyprus for passengers and goods.
Israel has not released any statement in response but has kept a strong attitude toward its Gaza operation.
"We've proven in the last days that there will not be any immunity to those who fire at Israeli citizens," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, referring to rocket barrages fired from Lebanon and Syria toward northern Israel on Saturday night, along with rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
"We are determined to complete the task and Operation Protective Edge will continue until we complete this mission," Netanyahu said, adding that the operation may continue after the school year, due to start on Sept. 1.
A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said more than 30 rockets and shells have been fired toward Israel from Gaza since Saturday midnight, mostly to Israel's southern communities but also to central and south central Israel.
Five Israelis were injured, one of them in severe condition, in a mortar explosion in southern Israel's Sha'ar Ha' Negev regional council on Sunday noon.
Palestinian Health Ministry Spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra said Sunday that since Saturday midnight, 10 Palestinians were killed and more than 30 wounded in a series of intensive Israeli airstrikes on houses, lands, farms and cars all over the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian sources said on Monday that an Israeli air raid on Gaza left two Palestinians dead overnight from Sunday to Monday.
Mohamed Al-Oul, a senior Hamas finance official, was killed Sunday in a fourth assassination of top Hamas leaders over the past week.
On Thursday, Israel hit three senior leaders of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas military wing, in the southern Gaza Strip. On Wednesday, Israel attempted to kill Mohammed Deif, commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades. His whereabouts remain unknown.
Since the Gaza war erupted on July 8, at least 2,110 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians, and 10,660 have been injured, according to Gaza health officials.
Besides, half a million Palestinian children have been prevented from attending school due to Israel's large-scale ground and air assaults on the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian officials have postponed classes in the enclave's 240 schools until a permanent ceasefire agreement is reached between Israel and the Palestinians. Many parents say they will not send their children to schools as it is still too dangerous.
Most classrooms in the Gaza Strip have been turned into shelters. Some 200,000 displaced Palestinians, who were forced to flee their homes amid Israeli airstrikes and barrages on their neighborhoods, are taking refuge at schools across the strip.
During the ongoing Israeli military campaign, three schools of the United Nations for Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) were bombed. Displaced women and children inside were killed.
Israel claimed that militants were sheltering in the schools and rockets were hidden in one of UNRWA schools, but officials of the UN agency strongly denied those claims.
In the West Bank, 700,000 schoolchildren started school on Sunday normally but their first class was devoted to talking about what happened in the Gaza Strip.
CAIRO/JERUSALEM, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Egypt on Saturday called on both Israel and the Palestinians to accept an indefinite ceasefire proposal and resume truce talks over the conflict in the Gaza Strip, the foreign ministry said in a statement.Full story
JERUSALEM, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli military killed on Sunday a senior Hamas finance official in the Gaza Strip, a military spokesperson said, in a fourth assassination of top Hamas leaders over the past week.Full story