Gaza: Israel and Hamas agree short truce

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Gaza: Israel and Hamas agree short truce

Gaza: Israel and Hamas agree short truce
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Israel and Hamas have agreed to pause hostilities in Gaza and Israel for 12 hours today.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been pushing for a seven-day ceasefire. But he said there were still some disagreements on the wording for a longer truce.

He said: “We still have terminology in the context of the framework to work through, but we are confident that we have a fundamental framework can, and will, ultimately work.”

“We believe that seven days will give all the parties the opportunity to step back from the violence and focus on the underlying causes,” added Kerry.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly suggested that Israel is willing to undertake the pause in fighting as a goodwill gesture.

A US official said that “serious progress” has been made on a longer truce, but there is more work to do.

France will host several foreign ministers on Saturday in an effort to coordinate an extended ceasefire.

Israel, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority will be not be represented initially.

Hours before the truce was due to begin, the Gaza skyline lit up with rockets and explosions.

The truce will remain in effect until 8 p.m. local time (7 p.m. CET).