Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced a cease-fire in the seven-week Gaza conflict that has killed more than 2,000 people — but there was no confirmation from Jerusalem of the claim. Abbas announced on Palestinian TV the truce would commence at 7 p.m. local time (noon ET). Earlier, officials from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the main groups fighting in Gaza against Israel, said a cease-fire had been reached. They described it as an "open-ended" cease-fire that included an Israeli agreement to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow relief supplies and construction materials into the war-battered territory.
Egyptian state television and the state news agency MENA also announced the deal. Israeli officials have yet to comment. Reuters reported that sirens warning of rocket attacks continued to sound in southern Israel after the ceasefire was due to take effect. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the army was checking whether any rockets had landed in Israel.
— Alastair Jamieson and Lawahez Jabari and The Associated Press
First published August 26 2014, 7:25 AM