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Hamas calls for 24-hour truce with Israel for Muslim holiday

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. (7 a.m. ET) Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.

Israel had offered a 24-hour truce late Saturday, but Hamas rejected it, firing more rockets on Israel. In response, Israel's military resumed operations in Gaza.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli army spokesman, did not say if Israel would hold its fire during the time requested by Hamas, but said troops would continue demolishing Hamas military tunnels.

The Israeli military said earlier Sunday that following "Hamas' incessant rocket fire" during the unilateral Israeli extension of a temporary humanitarian truce it would resume targeting Gaza militants.

In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's media adviser said that the prime minister and defense minister ordered the restart, accusing Hamas of violating "the humanitarian truce which the UN requested for the residents of Gaza."

Israel's Cabinet had unilaterally decided to extend the truce for 24 hours, until midnight (5 p.m. ET) Sunday. Hamas, which has requested the lifting of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade on Gaza, among other demands, did not agree to extend the truce.

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