Egyptian-mediated Gaza truce between Israel and Hamas takes effect

A picture taken from the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip shows the sun setting over the Palestinian coastal enclave on Aug 4, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A picture taken from the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip shows the sun setting over the Palestinian coastal enclave on Aug 4, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - An Egyptian-mediated truce halting the Gaza war went into effect on Tuesday following a surge in cross-border rocket fire into Israel by the Palestinians Islamist group Hamas.

The ceasefire, which is meant to last 72 hours and allow for negotiations in Cairo on a more durable cessation of hostilities, began at 8am local time. (0500 GMT; 1pm Singapore time).

Minutes before, air raid sirens sounded throughout southern Israel and as far north as outlying areas of Jerusalem, triggered by a volley of rockets that Hamas claimed responsibility for. There was no immediate word of casualties.

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