Hamas denies approval of 24-hour cease-fire in Gaza
“The Palestinian leadership, following consultations with the leadership in Hamas and Islamic Jihad, announces in the name of all of these our readiness for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire for 24 hours,” Abed Rabbo, PLO secretary general said in the West Bank.
However, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza denounced the militant group’s involvement in cease-fire talks, saying that Rabbo’s remarks were “not true” and “have nothing to do with the positions of the factions at the moment.”
Hamas is not a member of the PLO, but Rabbo said the militant group was consulted during talks for the 24-hour cease-fire. Members of the PLO include Hamas’ biggest political rival, Fatah movement, of which Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is a member.
Israel did not immediately respond to the offer.
As the conflict in Gaza enters its fourth week, health officials in the area said that 100 Palestinians were killed by Israeli tanks and airstrikes on Tuesday, raising the Palestinian death toll to 1,156 since July 8. Israel said 53 of its soldiers, two Israeli civilians and a Thai worker have been killed, the Associated Press reported.
Video by Associated Press
Also, Gaza’s sole power plant was forced to shut down Tuesday after two tank shells struck a fuel tank. A spokesman to Gaza’s electricity distribution company said the damage will take months to repair.
Israeli airstrikes also destroyed the home of Ismail Haniya, Hamas’ top political leader in the Gaza Strip. The attacks followed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s warning of a “prolonged” campaign in the Gaza against Hamas.