Israel, Hamas accept new cease-fire in Gaza

The mother and the sisters of Mohammed Khalil al-Anati, a 11-year-old Palestinian who was reportedly shot dead by Israeli soldiers, mourn during his funeral on August 10, 2014, in the al-Fawwar refugee camp on the outskirts of the West Bank town of Hebron. The circumstances of his death remain unclear but witnesses said he was shot by Israeli soldiers during an army operation in the refugee camp. The Israeli military said it was looking into the reports. HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images

Last Updated Aug 10, 2014 2:00 PM EDT

CAIRO - Israel has accepted an Egyptian proposal for a new 72-hour cease-fire with Gaza militants.

The move clears the way for the resumption of indirect talks on a long-term cease-fire arrangement in Hamas-ruled Gaza after a month of heavy fighting.

Egypt brokered a similar truce last week. But after the three-day window, militants resumed rocket fire on Israel and new fighting erupted.

The Israeli officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media, said they accepted Egypt's latest offer Sunday. But they said they were wary after last week's breakdown

Israel had initially walked away from cease-fire talks over the weekend, after militants resumed their rocket fire on southern Israel.

The Egyptian-mediated talks are aimed at brokering a long-term truce arrangement between Israel and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip following the heaviest fighting between the bitter enemies since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007.

In nearly a month of fighting, more than 1,900 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of civilians, nearly 10,000 were wounded and thousands of homes destroyed. Sixty-seven people were killed on the Israeli side, including three civilians.

gaza

A picture taken from the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza Border on August 10, 2014, shows smoke rising from the coastal side of the Gaza strip following an Israeli military strike.

DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images

Earlier Sunday, Palestinians threatened to quit the negotiations if Israel did not return, while Israeli leaders said there would be no talks while the rocket fire continues.

"Israel will not negotiate under fire," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, warning his country's military campaign "will take time."

Hamas is seeking an end to an Israeli-Egypt blockade that has decimated the local economy.

Israel says the blockade is needed to prevent arms smuggling, and it says Hamas must disarm as part of any long-term arrangement. Hamas has said handing over its weapons arsenal, which is believed to include several thousand remaining rockets, is inconceivable.

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