Gaza fighting continues amid reports of Egyptian ceasefire proposal | News | DW | 25.08.2014
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Gaza fighting continues amid reports of Egyptian ceasefire proposal

The Israeli military has launched a new round of airstrikes in Gaza, while Hamas militants continue to fire rockets into Israel. Meanwhile, Egypt has reportedly proposed a new ceasefire that would open Gaza's borders.

The Israeli military said that it had launched 16 airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Monday, while Hamas militants had fired 60 rockets into southern Israel.

Palestinian health officials reported that seven people died in the strikes, including a 42-year-old woman killed by tank fire in northern Gaza. No casualties were reported in Israel.

Meanwhile, Egypt has reportedly proposed a new ceasefire plan. Under Cairo's latest initiative, Gaza's border crossings to Egypt and Israel would be immediately opened to allow in aid and reconstruction material.

"Egyptian efforts are continuing," Qais Abu Leila, a senior Palestinian official, told the Reuters news agency. "The ball is in the Israeli court, and they have not responded to this proposal 36 hours after it was referred to them."

Heavy toll

Last week, talks to extend a temporary pause in fighting collapsed after Israel and Hamas accused each other violating the ceasefire. Hamas has said that it will not stop fighting until Israel lifts the blockade and siege of Gaza.

The United Nations says that 2,042 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of Israel's offensive on July 8. More than #link:http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_sitrep_22_08_2014.pdf:70 percent of the Palestinian dead were civilians, including 478 children and 246 women.# Israel has lost 68 people in the fighting, four of whom were civilians and the rest soldiers.

The latest round of violence began when three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and #link:http://news.yahoo.com/hamas-leader--don-t-compare-us-to-isil-193125056.html:murdered by Hamas militants#. In search of the culprits, the Israeli military detained hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank. A Palestinian teen was also burned to death, allegedly by Jewish extremists. Israeli has indicted three people over the murder.

In response to Hamas rocket fire, Israel launched airstrikes and then a ground campaign. The Israeli government claims the goal of the operation is to destroy the rockets as well as tunnels used by Hamas to transport militants into Israel.

slk/tj (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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