Egypt proposes truce to start at 9 a.m.

Following a deadly week, Egypt puts forward a proposal to stop the conflict in the Gaza Strip, calling on the Israelis and Hamas to cease hostilities as of 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.

According to the proposal, the ceasefire will be followed by talks on easing the flow of goods into Gaza.

The proposal late this evening comes on the eve of a scheduled visit to Egypt by US Secretary of State John Kerry, a traditional broker in Palestinian-Israeli conflicts, to push for a halt to seven days of exchanges that have left 184 Gazans dead.

It also comes shortly before the start of a sit-down of the foreign ministers of the Arab League, who have convened an emergency meeting in Cairo to discuss Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip.

The demands Israel is presenting as part of truce negotiations, at least since Friday, are that Hamas accept the terms of the 2012 agreement that came after Operation Pillar of Defense, empty the Gaza Strip of rockets, and close down the tunnels that run between the coastal enclave and Israel.

Hamas is demanding that 56 prisoners who were released as part of the 2011 prisoner swap for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, and were rearrested in the West Bank following the June 12 abduction of the three Israeli teenagers, be freed. The terror organization is also asking that the Rafah crossing to Egypt be opened, and that the salaries of 40,000 former Hamas employees be transferred to the Gaza Strip.

AFP and Avi Issacharoff

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