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Israel 'considers Egypt plan for Gaza truce'

Reuters news agency reports Israel examining Egyptian proposal for comprehensive ceasefire, but no word from Hamas.

Last updated: 17 Jul 2014 12:39
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A five-hour humanitarian truce has ended in the Gaza Strip, amid reports that Israel was considering a wider ceasefire proposed by Egypt.

The UN-brokered humanitarian truce ended at 12pm GMT on Thursday with two reported infractions - three mortar bombs landed in Israel while Israeli tank fire was reported in Rafah.

The truce ended amid reports by the Reuters news agency that Israel is considering an Egyptian proposal for a comprehensive Gaza ceasefire starting on Friday.

"There is an agreement for a ceasefire beginning tomorrow. I believe it is 6am (3am GMT)," the official told the Reuters news agency. 

However, the news agency said that only senior officials in Egypt had agreed the deal, and it was still being examined by the Israeli leadership.

There was no immediate word from the Hamas group, which controls the Gaza Strip. Hamas rejected a previous ceasefire offer earlier this week, saying it was never consulted on the terms.

Azza al-Ahmad, a Fatah representative in Cairo, told Al Jazeera that there was no agreement and communications were ongoing.

Earlier, the Israeli army said it had stopped an attempt by more than a dozen Gaza fighters to infiltrate southern Israel through tunnels, as a temporary humanitarian truce came into effect in the enclave.

An Israeli military statement said the gunmen from Hamas intended to attack Kibbutz Sufa. An Israeli air attack killed eight fighters, it said. The Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, denied any of its fighters had died.

The Israeli army had conducted 37 raids in Gaza overnight, while seven rockets were fired from Gaza, four of which landed in fields and the rest were intercepted by Israel's missile defences, the AFP news agency reported.

Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker, reporting from Gaza said the truce would allow some repairs to infrastructure, such as electricity lines.

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