Egypt proposes Israeli-Hamas ceasefire

The Arab League is expected to look into the idea later Monday, while the Israelis could consider this proposal on Tuesday.

Amir Cohen/REUTERS
An illumination flare above the northern Gaza Strip is seen at the border with Gaza July 14, 2014. Egypt proposed an initiative on Monday aimed at stopping fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, state news agency MENA said.

Egypt is proposing a temporary cease-fire as a first step in ending the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has left more than 175 people dead.

The Foreign Ministry announced a three-step plan starting with a 12-hour cease-fire by the Israelis and the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers that would take effect Tuesday morning. That would be followed by the opening of border crossings and negotiations between both sides in Cairo within 48 hours.

The proposal was expected to be discussed at an Arab League meeting of foreign ministers later Monday. An Israeli official told Reuters the Israeli Security Cabinet is planning to meet Tuesday to discuss the proposal.

Israel is demanding guarantees of an extended period of quiet, while Hamas seeks an easing of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza.

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