GAZA CITY, Gaza - Palestinian leaders announced that they were willing to declare a 24-hour cease-fire in Gaza on Tuesday. "Following discussions with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian leadership announces that all are willing to an immediate humanitarian cease-fire for 24 hours, and willing to extend it further," Palestinian politician Yasser Abed Rabbo told NBC News. Israel did not immediately respond to the offer. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said the cease-fire would only be implemented if Israel accepted it.
The agreement between Palestinian factions in Gaza -- ruling Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad -- and Fatah, which runs the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, was multi-staged, sources told NBC News. The first stage would be the one-day cease-fire, followed by a rolling 72-hour extension to the truce and then a meeting in Cairo to negotiate issues like lifting Israel’s siege of the enclave, the sources said on the condition of anonymity. The Egyptians have insisted that the often squabbling Palestinian factions come to the negotiating table as a unified force.
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