Gaza truce seen Thursday

Egypt said the cease-fire it is brokering between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip will go into effect Thursday.

Israeli forces will stop initiating attacks in Gaza and Hamas will ensure an end to cross-border shelling from the territory as of 6 a.m. Thursday, Egyptian mediators said Tuesday.

Hamas confirmed the truce schedule. Israel said only that it was sending a senior defense official, Amos Gilad, to Cairo for a new round of talks.

Israeli officials earlier said a truce was imminent and that in addition to a suspension of hostilities, it would involve easing a blockade on Gaza.

But Israel has demanded progress in talks on the release of Gilad Shalit, a soldier held hostage by Hamas, for Gaza’s border crossing with Egypt to open.

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