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Hamas rejects cease-fire proposal in Gaza

A Hamas spokesman said the group was open to a conference in Egypt over a cease-fire.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   July 29, 2014 at 12:53 PM
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GAZA CITY , Gaza, July 29 (UPI) -- A call by Palestinian leadership for a 24-hour truce in the conflict between Israel and Gaza was rejected Tuesday by Hamas, the governing body in Gaza.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said an extendable truce was approved by Hamas and by Islamic Jihad, a smaller Gaza militant organization, but Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the report was untrue.

Another Hamas spokesman, Osama Hamdan, told CNN from Beirut, Lebanon, that Hamas would consider a proposal by Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian National Authority president, to send a delegation to a conference in Egypt that could lead to a cease-fire.

A prior cease-fire, negotiated in Egypt, was of little value, and short-term truces in the four-week long conflict ended quickly with both sides accusing the other of violating them.

Gaza's only power plant was hit with rocket fire Tuesday, leaving many without electricity.

Fahti al-Shiekh Khalil, deputy chairman of Palestine's energy authority, said at least 40 percent of Gaza's available fuel supply has been spent, and that the power plant will take a year of rebuilding to recover. He demanded Israel supply electrical power to Gaza.

"We cannot supply electricity. This is a disaster. We demand from Israel, since it is directly responsible to what happened to the power plant, to immediately substitute this quantity of electricity to Gaza, else they are responsible for all the humanitarian consequences in Gaza."

Israel reported Tuesday that four mosques, hiding "massive weapons caches," were struck by rocket fire overnight, but had no comment on the destruction of the power plant.

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