No cease-fire agreement reached yet: Israeli source
Updated: 2014-07-17 21:58
Israeli soldiers stand guard outside the southern Gaza Strip, as smoke is seen in Gaza, before the start of a five-hour ceasefire July 17, 2014.[Photo/Agencies]
JERUSALEM - An Israeli official denied reports by international media outlets that Israel and Hamas have reached a cease-fire agreement that would be implemented starting from Friday.
"The security cabinet was not presented with a new proposal for a cease-fire agreement," the Israeli official told Xinhua, adding that "the report that such a cease-fire agreement was reached and agreed upon is false."
Earlier on Thursday, an Israeli official was cited by the BBC as saying that an agreement would come into effect starting from 06:00 local time (0300 GMT) on Friday, following incessant mediation attempts in Egypt.
Israeli Prime Minister Spokesman Mark Regev refused to confirm or deny the report. Hamas has also denied such an agreement was reached as of Thursday afternoon, the Walla news website reported.
Palestinian officials from the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad told the Ha'aretz daily that "some progress has been made, but a final agreement has not been reached yet."
Egyptian media outlets reported that a delegation of Israeli officials left Cairo on Thursday noon and is set to update the Israeli government on the status of the negotiations.
Operation Protective Edge entered its 10th day on Thursday. The Gaza death toll reached 230, according to Palestinian medical officials, and more than 1,682 people were wounded. Most of the casualties were reported to be civilians, including 25 children.
More than 1,200 rockets and mortars were launched in the past ten days across Israeli territories. One Israeli civilian was killed on Tuesday from mortar fire near the northern Gaza Strip border.
Also on Thursday, Israel halted its attacks on the Gaza Strip starting from 10:00 to 15:00 local time (0700 to 1200 GMT) in order to allow humanitarian aid into the heavily bombarded enclave, at the request of the United Nations Special Mideast coordinator Robert Serry.
During this time three missiles were launched from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel's Eshkol regional council. No injuries or damages were reported.
In addition, an Israeli soldier was lightly wounded as an explosion occurred while he was scanning a terror tunnel near Kerem Shalom adjacent to the southern Gaza Strip border, where the IDF foiled an infiltration attempt by 13 Palestinian militants earlier on Thursday.