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Roundup: Israel extends ceasefire for 24 hours, Hamas rejects truce

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

JERUSALEM/GAZA, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Israeli security cabinet has approved a 24-hour extension to the just-ended UN-brokered 12-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip.

But Islamic Hamas movement said Sunday any truce that does not guarantee a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip will not be accepted.

The Israeli security cabinet on Saturday voted to approve a humanitarian truce in Gaza until midnight Sunday. During this period, the Israeli Defense Forces will continue to neutralize Gaza tunnels and will respond to any incoming attacks, Israel's Haaretz daily reported.

The Israeli cabinet will meet Sunday to discuss the next step in the country's military operation in Gaza.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zorhi said Sunday in a statement that his movement will not accept any humanitarian truce that does not guarantee a full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, and enable the Palestinians to go back home.

Hamas also said its fighters fired four rockets into Israel after the UN-proposed truce ended Saturday at 20:00 local time (1700 GMT).

During the military offensive in Gaza Saturday, two more Israeli soldiers were killed, which bring the death toll of Israeli soldiers to 42.

Also on Saturday and after the temporary UN truce expired, a Palestinian was killed by Israeli gunfire in Central Gaza Strip despite Israel's earlier announcement of extending the 12-hour humanitarian truce, medical sources said.

The ongoing fighting between Hamas movement and the Israeli army in Gaza which started in July 8 has claimed the lives of more than 1,030 Palestinians and 43 Israelis.

Regional and international efforts to end the bloody fighting in Gaza have been going on unabated. However, all efforts have yet to succeed in ending the prolonged conflict.

Israel has so far rejected all international proposals to end its offensive in Gaza, saying its operation aims to stop Gaza rockets fire into Israel and destroy tunnels used by Hamas militants to launch cross-border attacks in Israeli territories.

Palestinians say that fighting will not stop unless their demands, an end of Israel's seven-year blockade atop them, are met by Israel.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140727/roundup-israel-extends-ceasefire-24-hours-hamas-rejects-truc