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  Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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A Hamas delegation is meeting with Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman
A Hamas delegation is meeting with Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman to discuss ways to achieve a lasting truce with Israel in the Gaza Strip, Egyptian news agency MENA reported Sunday.

According to the news agency, the talks are aimed at turning the weeklong cease-fire into a long-lasting truce agreement to end Israel's blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by reopening border crossings.

Israel launched an attack on the Gaza Strip on December 27, targeting Hamas infrastructure in a bid to put an end to rocket attacks by Palestinian militants on Israeli border towns.

The military operation left over 1,284 Palestinians dead, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. Up to 50,000 people have also been left homeless in the enclave of 1.5 million. Israel's casualties have been estimated at 13, including 10 military personnel.

Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire at 2 a.m. local time (00:00 GMT) on January 18, saying it had achieved all its objectives. Several hours after Israel's announcement, Hamas also declared an immediate ceasefire, adding that it was giving Israel a week to withdraw its troops.

Israel completed its troop pullout from Gaza on Wednesday.

Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since June 2007, when it seized control of the enclave of 1.5 million after clashes with Fatah.

The Israeli attack on Gaza is estimated to have caused nearly $2 billion worth of damage.


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