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Gaza truce efforts ongoing, no deal yet: Hamas official

Efforts towards a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are underway, but no deal has been reached yet, an official from the Palestinian Islamist movement told AFP.

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Efforts towards a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are underway, but no deal has been reached yet, an official from the Palestinian Islamist movement told AFP on Monday.

"There are efforts and communications on the issue of a truce deal but until now there is nothing final," he said, after Egypt proposed a truce to begin at 0600 GMT on Tuesday.

The official confirmed Egypt was mediating discussions of a ceasefire to end seven days of violence that has killed at least 184 Palestinians and seen hundreds of rockets fired into Israel.

"Efforts are being made by various parties, particularly the Egyptians, but in a weak manner," he added.

Egypt late Monday proposed a truce that would begin on Tuesday morning, when US Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to arrive in Cairo, according to Egyptian media, to push for an end to hostilities.

"0600 GMT has been set for the beginning of the implementation of truce arrangements between the two sides," the proposal said.

It added that it called for a "full ceasefire within 12 hours of its announcement and acceptance by both sides."

The truce proposal was announced around 1800 GMT, and an Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman said his government wanted a full end to hostilities starting 0600 GMT.

The proposal says Cairo will be prepared to receive Israeli and Palestinian delegations to discuss cementing the truce and confidence building measures within 48 hours of its taking effect.

Among the issues to be discussed is the easing of the flow of goods into Gaza, which has been subject to an Israeli blockade for years.

Hamas's former prime minister Ismail Haniya addressed the truce talks in a televised speech on Saturday night.

"There are moves and contacts to stop the enemy's aggression against Gaza. There are countries intervening," he said.

"As mujahedeen fight on the battlefield, there are political and diplomatic moves by the movement's leadership, and by internal and external factions, led by Khaled Meshaal."

Hamas has said it wants Israel's blockade on Gaza lifted, along with the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in any truce deal.

It also wants Israel to release Palestinians it rearrested after freeing them in exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Israel had no immediate comment on the truce proposal.

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