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Palestinian officials: Cease-fire made with Israel

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Published : 2014-08-26 23:23
Updated : 2014-08-26 23:23

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) _ Officials from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the main groups fighting in Gaza, said Tuesday they have reached a deal with Israel to end a seven-week war that has killed more than 2,000 Palestinians.

There was no immediate Israeli comment.

Ziad Nakhala, a senior official in Islamic Jihad, said the deal calls for an ``open-ended'' cease-fire, and an Israeli agreement to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow relief supplies and construction materials into the war-battered territory.

Talks on more complex issues, such as Hamas' demand to build an airport and a seaport for Gaza, would begin in a month, he said.

Egypt planned an announcement later Tuesday.

The Hamas official, who spoke on condition of anonymity pending the announcement, confirmed the terms.

If the terms of the cease-fire are confirmed, it would effectively mean Hamas in the end settled for terms that are similar to those that ended more than a week of fighting with Israel in 2012.

Under those terms, Israel promised to ease restrictions gradually, while Hamas promised to halt rocket fire from Gaza at Israel. The truce held, but Gaza's border blockade remained largely intact.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade in 2007, after Hamas seized Gaza by force in 2007. Under the restrictions, virtually all of Gaza's 1.8 million people cannot trade or travel. Only a few thousand are able to leave the coastal territory every month.

During the war, Hamas had said it would only cease fire if the blockade is lifted. However, in recent days Israel has escalated its strikes in Gaza, toppling five high-rise buildings housing offices, apartments and shops since the weekend.

This Gaza war has so far killed at least 2,133 Palestinians and wounded more than 11,000, according to Palestinian health officials and the United Nations. The U.N. estimates more than 17,000 homes have been destroyed, leaving 100,000 people homeless.

On the Israeli side, 68 people have been killed, all but four of them soldiers.

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