Egypt Proposes Ceasefire for 9:00 AM
Egypt proposed a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas to start at 0600 GMT (9:00 AM IST) Tuesday and be followed by talks on easing the flow of goods into Gaza.
Hamas officials stated later Monday that no truce has been officially agreed upon.
"There are efforts and communications on the issue of a truce deal but until now there is nothing final," a Hamas spokesperson told AFP.
News of the offer surfaces hours after an announcement that US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Egypt on Tuesday, as pressure piles on Israel and Hamas to end a week-long conflict in Gaza, Egyptian state media reported.
Kerry joins a chorus of calls for a cease-fire to be convened and peace talks to be resumed since Israel began defending itself against the rocket fire seven days ago.
Israel reportedly offered Hamas a 40-hour cease-fire last week, sources said Sunday afternoon, which Hamas immediately rejected. Hamas reiterated on Monday that it would not accept any deal without Israel meeting several harsh conditions for a truce, including releasing terrorists and stopping a blockade.
It should be noted that not only has Hamas breached each cease-fire ever offered from Israel since rocket fire began in 2001, but also that they have reiterated repeatedly during the current hostilities that they have no interest in a cease-fire arrangement.
Israel, too, rejected a cease-fire over the weekend, saying nothing by a total cessation of rocket-fire against Israeli civilians would be deemed acceptable.
Roughly 8,000 rockets have been fired on Israeli civilians since the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza.