Egypt: No Plan to Announce Halt to Israel-Hamas Violence

World | November 20, 2012, Tuesday // 22:28| Views: 613 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Egypt: No Plan to Announce Halt to Israel-Hamas Violence Israeli forces fire a shell from the Israel-Gaza border into Gaza on Tuesday, November 20. Explosions terrified Palestinians and Israelis for a seventh day amid reports of a possible "calming down" period to halt the violence. Photo by Getty Images

Egypt and Hamas - which had announced the potential "calming" of violence between Israel and Hamas - seem to have pulled back on their statements.

Meanwhile, Israel suffered its first military fatality in the week of violence, another child was among the dead in Gaza, and CNN saw a group of men in Gaza drag the body of a man through streets from the back of a motorcycle. In Arabic, the men -- who carried weapons -- yelled that he was a traitor and Israeli spy.

Israel said it was holding off on a ground offensive into Gaza to give diplomatic efforts time. Those efforts include talks that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon each planned with Israeli officials and with Palestinian officials in the West Bank, where the government is run by the Palestinian faction Fatah. Gaza is run by Hamas, which the United States and numerous other countries consider a terrorist organization.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri announced that Israel has not agreed to terms that would stop the fighting. Earlier, a senior Hamas official told CNN a "calming down" would be announced at 9 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET). That did not happen.

A "calming down" could halt violence, but is not the same as an official cease-fire or truce, CNN's Ben Wedeman reported.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy said earlier Tuesday that the "travesty of the Israel aggression on Gaza will end in a few hours." But a few hours passed, and Morsy's office told CNN not to expect any announcement Tuesday night.

Egypt has been working to broker a cease-fire that would end seven days of deadly violence that has turned life into a nightmare for millions in Israel and Gaza.

Israel has said it wants a cease-fire agreement, but has not indicated whether one could be imminent.

A source familiar with discussions in Jerusalem told CNN, "One of the Israeli demands is that there should be a period of total calm for 24 hours before committing to any agreement."

Israeli spokesman Mark Regev told CNN, "Diplomacy is still ongoing."

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Tags: Hamas, evacuate, leaflets, Gaza, Israel, Egypt
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