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Israel accepts Gaza cease-fire plan

Israel accepts Gaza cease-fire plan


By Nicholas Casey

TEL AVIV -- Israel said Tuesday its security cabinet has accepted an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire with Hamas to end a weeklong air war over the Gaza Strip and Israeli population centers.

The brief Israeli announcement was made just minutes before the proposed start of the cease-fire, which Israel said would take effect at 9 a.m. local time.

However, in a statement released before Israel's acceptance, the military wing of Hamas said it didn't accept any plan to stop fighting. "For us, it is not worth the ink that wrote it," the group said. "Our battle with the enemy is to be continued, and we'll be loyal to the blood of the martyrs."

The Egyptian proposal, unveiled Monday night, calls for a de-escalation of the fighting, with the aim of total calm 12 hours later. Israel would halt air and naval bombardment of Gaza and refrain from launching a threatened ground offensive, in exchange for Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza holding their rocket fire, the proposal said.

(An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ:com http://online.wsj.com/articles/israel-agrees-to-cease-fire-plan-1405406785.)

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