Israel Accepts Cease-Fire Plan, but Hamas Rejects It

By: ABC News
By: ABC News

Gaza The Israeli Cabinet accepted an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire to end a week of conflict with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip – but Hamas later rejected the proposal, leaving hopes for reconciliation in doubt.

The Egyptian plan calls for hostilities to end today, followed by negotiations on easing the border blockade of Gaza.

Following Israel’s support of the cease-fire, Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior spokesman for the Palestinian organization, spoke out rejecting the plan.

"This proposal is not acceptable,” Abu Zuhri told the Associated Press.

The group’s military wing published a statement online saying it wasn't contacted about "this alleged initiative."

"For us, it is not worth the ink that wrote it," the Al Qassam Brigades said in the online statement. "Our battle with the enemy to be continues and we'll be loyal to the blood of the martyrs of the Eaten Straw battle."

The conflict, which began one week ago, has left 192 Palestinians dead and 1,410 injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, while exposing millions of Israelis to Hamas rocket fire.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Cabinet met on Tuesday morning and accepted the proposal. But if Hamas continues to fire rockets, Israel plans to retaliate.

Israel launched the offensive last Tuesday, saying it was responding to weeks of rocket fire out of the Hamas-ruled territory.

President Barack Obama praised Egypt's proposal at a Monday White House dinner celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

"We're going to continue to do everything we can to facilitate a return to the 2012 cease-fire," Obama said. "We are encouraged that Egypt has made a proposal to accomplish that goal."


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