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Hamas declares victory, but terms fall short

Tuesday - 8/26/2014, 5:20pm  ET

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Hamas is declaring victory, after an agreement with Israel for an open-ended cease-fire. And throughout Gaza, there's been the sound of celebratory gunfire.

But the terms of the deal fall far short of the demand by Hamas that Israel and Egypt open Gaza's borders.

Under the deal brokered by Egypt, Israel is supposed to ease imports into Gaza, including aid and material for reconstruction. In a month, the cease-fire calls for talks to begin in Cairo on more complex issues, including Israel's demand that Hamas disarm.

Previous cease-fire deals have collapsed since the war began last month, and it's not clear if this one will hold. It took effect at 7 p.m., local time, but violence persisted until the last minute.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is a long-time rival of Hamas, would likely play a key role in any new border deal for Gaza. He lost control of the territory after Hamas seized it in 2007.

It's possible that forces loyal to Abbas could be posted at Gaza border crossings to ease fears by Israel and Egypt about renewed attempts by Hamas to smuggle weapons into the territory.

%@AP Links

201-a-05-(Jen Psaki, State Department spokeswoman, at briefing)-"with its terms"-State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki says the U.S. strongly supports the ceasefire agreement. (26 Aug 2014)

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200-a-12-(Jen Psaki, State Department spokeswoman, at briefing)-"conflict in Gaza"-State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki says the U.S. hopes this ceasefire holds. (26 Aug 2014)

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168-a-16-(Riyad Mansour (ree-YAHD' mahn-SOOR'), Palestinian representative to the United Nations, in AP interview)-"period of time"-Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian representative to the U.N., says an indefinite cease-fire with Israel would hinge on negotiations over some longstanding sticking points -- some of them not often in the public eye, such as deep-sea rights. (26 Aug 2014)

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APPHOTO XAH121: Smoke, dust and debris rise after an Israeli strike hits in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Israel and Hamas agreed Tuesday to an open-ended cease-fire, halting a seven-week war that killed more than 2,200 people, the vast majority Palestinians, left tens of thousands in Gaza homeless and devastated entire neighborhoods in the blockaded territory. (AP Photo/Adel Hana) (26 Aug 2014)


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