US welcomes Egypt-brokered Gaza truce

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WASHINGTON: The United States said Tuesday that it welcomed Egypt’s announcement that it had brokered a truce between Israel and Gaza militants, following four days of deadly violence.

“There are reports that the Egyptians have been able to negotiate some calm. If, in fact, that’s the case, that would, of course, be very welcome,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

An Egyptian intelligence official told AFP that the Arab power had brokered a “comprehensive and mutual” truce after contacts on both sides. Israel and the Islamic militant movement Hamas both declined comment.

Violence erupted on Friday when Israel assassinated the head of the Popular Resistance Committees. Gaza militants then fired hundreds of rockets and mortars into southern Israel, wounding five people.

The Israeli military carried out dozens of air strikes during the flare-up, saying it was targeting militants and weapons facilities. Palestinian medics put the total death toll late on Monday at 25, with more than 80 injured.

A Gazan child died on Wednesday from wounds sustained during the Israeli airstrikes.

The truce deal appeared to be holding, despite more rocketfire and two Israeli raids.


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