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Gaza ceasefire agreed, Palestinian sources announce

Hamas claims "victory" as Palestinian sources reveal new ceasefire to start later today
Palestinian travellers wait before crossing into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip (AFP)
The Palestinians have reached agreement with Israel on a "permanent" ceasefire for the Gaza Strip, a senior official told AFP on Tuesday.
 
"The contacts that have been going on have agreed a permanent ceasefire, a [deal to] end the blockade and a guarantee that Gaza's demands and needs will be met," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is now scheduled to give a speech at 7pm local time [1600 GMT] to outline the conditions of the truce, Palestinian Ma'an News Agecny said. Turkish Anadolu Agency, citing Palestinian sources. also said that the truce would begin later this evening. 

Hamas called the ceasefire a "victory," AFP reported, although there has so far been no immediate comment from Israel, with some social media reports suggesting that the truce had not yet been confirmed. 

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni responded to reports insisting that any deal not include "any significant political achievements for Hamas, which is a terrorist organisation which doesn't accept our existence here."

Livni added that the end of the operation should be "part of an overall accord with those who seek peace."

Six Palestinians were killed Tuesday in separate Israeli attacks across the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Israeli planes also struck a 14-story building in central Gaza City, leaving at least 20 Palestinians injured. A similar attack targeted an 11-story building in southern Gaza, leaving nearly 50 Palestinian families homeless.
It was the second night in which Israeli air strikes targeted large residential complexes.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhari denounced the attacks on the buildings as "crimes against humanity".

A barrage of rockets also flew toward Israel from Gaza, setting warning sirens off around the country including in Tel Aviv, with house in Ashkelon Counil damaged in the attacks. Further rockets were fired even after reports about the truce were announced. 

More than 20 Israelis sustained light injures from the rocket attacks, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. Two rockets were also fired at Israel from Lebanon late Monday, an army spokeswoman said. Israel responded by shelling areas in southern Lebanon. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.