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Middle East

Hamas Proposes Yearlong Truce With Israel

A Hamas official says the group is offering a one-year cease-fire if Israel opens border crossings into the Gaza Strip.

Hamas negotiator Ayman Taha told reporters in Cairo that Israel had proposed — through Egyptian security officials — an 18-month cease-fire. The Islamist group in control of Gaza countered with an offer of a 12-month cease-fire.

Hamas continues to demand that Gaza's borders be fully opened and that the blockade of the Gaza Strip be lifted, while Israel insists upon a halt to arms smuggling into Gaza.

Israel and Hamas each declared unilateral cease-fires after a 22-day Israeli military operation left some 1,300 Palestinians dead. Thirteen Israelis were killed in the same period, three by Palestinian rocket fire into southern Israel.

Separately, Hamas pledged to deliver tens of millions of dollars in emergency relief money to Palestinian residents, regardless of whether they support Hamas. Several donors have balked at sending relief through Hamas.