Egypt Offers Cease-Fire Deal For Hamas, Israel

Egypt's foreign ministry has proposed an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, after a week of fighting has left almost 200 people dead.
Posted at 11:11 PM, Jul 14, 2014

It's been a full week since the latest round of fighting between Hamas and Israel began. Now, amid a rising body count and increased international pressure to end the violence, both sides might be ready for a cease-fire.

Al Jazeera obtained a statement from Egypt's foreign ministry proposing a 48-hour unconditional cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, followed by a round of negotiations for a more permanent truce to be held in Cairo.

Israel's security cabinet is set to discuss the measure Tuesday morning, and a Haaretz reporter says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to support it — although another Haaretz editor says a cease-fire with Hamas could damage the prime minister politically.

It's still unclear whether Hamas will accept the cease-fire. The group's leader said in a speech Monday that it was open to peaceful negotiations with Israel, but another spokesman later said Egypt's terms are unacceptable. (Via Getty Images, Middle East Eye)

But Egypt has worked as a mediator between Hamas and Israel before. In 2008, the country brokered a six-month truce between the two sides. (Via The New York Times)

Palestinian medical officials say the death toll from Israel's air strikes rose to 185 Monday. Despite Israel's insistence that it tries to minimize collateral damage, the U.N. says most of the casualties are civilians. (Via NBC)

But the strikes haven't stopped Hamas from launching hundreds of rockets into Israel, though so far no fatalities have been reported. Hamas also released new footage purporting to show a drone it had developed — the same day Israel reportedly shot down a drone launched from Gaza. (Via ABC, Press TV)

The cease-fire proposal comes just as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to visit Cairo to help mediate a truce between the two sides.