herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Hamas say no to offer of Israel ceasefire

Hamas has rejected a proposal for a ceasefire with Israel today, moments after the Israeli Cabinet accepted the plan.

The move threw into disarray international efforts to end a week of fighting which has killed 192 Palestinians and exposed millions of Israelis to Hamas rocket fire.

A senior Israeli government official warned that Israel would strike Gaza even harder if Hamas does not accept the truce.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against targets in Gaza in the past week and amassed troops on the border, but has so far refrained from a ground offensive that could quickly drive up the casualty count on both sides.

BORDERS

The Egyptian ceasefire offer called for a halt to hostilities, followed by negotiations on easing the closure of Gaza's borders - a closure that has been enforced by both Israel and Egypt to varying degrees since Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

A group of senior Israeli Cabinet ministers accepted the offer today, according to a statement by the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A senior government official said after the announcement that Israel would step up its military offensive if Hamas rejects the offer.

hnews@herald.ie

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