P.A. announces 24-hour cease-fire, but Hamas denies accepting it


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinian Authority announced that it has brokered a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire with all Palestinian factions, something Hamas denied.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon during a news conference in Ramallah. The announcement was reportedly made with the consent of Hamas, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Hamas later denied that it had accepted a humanitarian cease-fire, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said, according to Maan, that “Yasser Abed Rabbu’s statement that Hamas agreed to a cease-fire for 24 hours is not true and has nothing to do with the resistance’s stand.”

“We will consider a cease-fire when Israel commits to it with international guarantees,” Abu Zuhri reportedly  added.

The cease-fire agreement announcement came hours after a delegation of representatives of Palestinian factions, including the P.A., Hamas and Islamic Jihad, arrived in Cairo to discuss a cease-fire.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told the Associated Press in the wake of Rabbo’s announcement that until Israel hears from Hamas directly about the cease-fire offer, “it’s not serious.”

Israel has observed at least two-humanitarian cease-fires and observed what was to be a 24-hour extension of a cease-fire over the weekend until rockets from Gaza continued to be shot at Israel, causing the Israeli military to resume attacks.

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