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Gaza ceasefire takes effect as Palestinians celebrate

Published on Aug 27, 2014 1:39 AM
 

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinians aimed at ending their seven-week conflict in Gaza went into effect on Tuesday and joyous Palestinians streamed into the streets of the battered enclave to celebrate.

Minutes before the Egyptian-brokered truce began at 1600 GMT, a rocket fired by Palestinian militants killed one person in an Israeli kibbutz, or collective farm, near the Gaza border, police said.

Palestinian and Egyptian officials said the deal calls for an indefinite halt to hostilities, the immediate opening of Gaza's blockaded crossings with Israel and Egypt and a widening of the territory's fishing zone in the Mediterranean.

A senior official of the Islamist group Hamas, which runs Gaza, voiced willingness for the security forces of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the unity government he formed in June to control the passage points. Both Israel and Egypt view Hamas as a security threat and are seeking guarantees that weapons will not enter the territory of 1.8 million people.

Palestinians flash the sign of victory wave a national flag as they celebrate in the streets in East Jerusalem the long-term truce agreed between Israel and the Palestinians on Aug 26, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 
 
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