Israel FM says no Gaza ceasefire reached

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says reports on fresh Gaza ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are “far from reality”.

A brief truce was being observed in the Gaza Strip to allow civilians to stock up on essential supplies [EPA]

A five-hour humanitarian truce has ended in the Gaza Strip, as Israel denied reports it 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 was considering an Egyptian proposal for a comprehensive Gaza ceasefire starting on Friday, but this was quickly denied by Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Speaking to a group of diplomats, Lieberman said that “the reports of a ceasefire, are far from representing reality, I spoke with the prime minister, and as of now they are incorrect”.

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.

The 10-day Israeli offensive on Gaza has so far killed 231 Palestinians, including 39 children. At least 1,700 others have been wounded.

One Israeli has been killed during the conflict. He died of his wounds on Tuesday after a rocket launched by Hamas group fell in an area along the border with Gaza.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies