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Militant Palestinian group calls new Israel truce

A militant Palestinian group has announced a new cease-fire following more than a week of hostilities with Israel, in which more than two dozen people have lost their lives.

Palestinians carry the body of Islamic Jihad militant Alaa Abu Al Khair, who was killed in an Israeli air strike Thursday, during his funeral in Gaza City, Friday, Aug. 26, 2011.
Palestinians carry the body of Islamic Jihad militant Alaa Abu Al Khair, who was killed in an Israeli air strike Thursday, during his funeral in Gaza City, Friday, Aug. 26, 2011.
Image: Hatem Moussa/AP/Press Association Images

A MILITANT PALESTINIAN group has announced a new cease-fire following more than a week of hostilities with Israel.

The deal, reportedly mediated by Egypt and the UN, is the second to be declared this week after the Hamas government called a truce on Sunday, says The Jerusalem Post. That cease-fire failed, however, with the ongoing violence resulting in the deaths of more than two dozen people.

The escalation began with an incursion by militants, apparently from Gaza, who crossed on into southern Israel from Egypt on 18 August and killed eight Israelis.

A Hamas-declared cease-fire late on Sunday dissolved with rocket fire from Gaza on southern Israel and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes, in which two dozen Palestinians and one Israeli were killed, the BBC reports

“We are evaluating and monitoring the commitment of the occupation government to the cease-fire,” said Muhammed Al-Hindi, a leader of the Palestinian faction of the Islamic Jihad group. He added that Israel “carries full responsibility for the latest escalation, and for any future violations of this cease-fire.”

There was no immediate Israeli government reaction.

A Hamas official said early Friday all key factions had agreed to the latest truce and that the Gaza government and Egypt were trying to get smaller Palestinian factions on board as well.

Hours earlier, an Israeli airstrike killed two Palestinian militants in Gaza following a salvo of rocket attacks on Israel. Palestinian officials said the two were members of Islamic Jihad.

The Israeli military confirmed the airstrike, saying two militants were targeted after they fired mortar shells toward an Israeli border crossing, damaging it.

More than 15 rockets and mortar shells were fired toward Israel on Thursday, the military said.

Two shells hit the border crossing between Israel and Gaza, cutting off electricity and trapping a Palestinian woman and her baby inside the border terminal. An Israeli military commander said he took them to a protected area of the crossing and waited for mortar fire to subside before allowing them to cross into Gaza an hour later.

Additional reporting by the AP

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