Hamas rejects Israeli truce offer, Gaza toll 1,302

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Hamas rejects Israeli truce offer
Gaza/Jerusalem, July 30: The Islamic Hamas movement rejected on Wednesday an Israeli-proposed four-hour lull in fighting in the Gaza Strip even in the coastal enclave in the ongoing offensive reached 1,302.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zohri said in a press statement that the Israeli proposal for a four-hour truce is worthless as it does include hot zones along the borders with Gaza, Xinhua reported.

"This is an act of media manoeuvre," he said.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli army authorised a temporary truce in Gaza from 12 noon GMT to 4 p.m. GMT.

The military coordinator of government activities in the territories said in a statement that the truce "will not apply to the areas in which Israeli soldiers are currently operating", Xinhua reported.

Israeli army authorised a temporary truce in Gaza

Israeli media said that these areas include Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip and the eastern neighbourhoods of Shejayia, eastern Khan Younes and eastern Rafah.

"Residents must not return to areas that have previously been asked to evacuate," the statement warned.

The Israeli military operation on the Gaza Strip, which was launched July 8 to end Palestinian rocket fire into Israel, has claimed the lives of at least 1,302 Palestinians and 56 Israelis.

Regional and international efforts to end the ongoing fighting between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza have been going on unabated, but without substantial progress.

IANS

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