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article imageIsrael, Gaza ceasefire talks continue

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By David Silverberg     Nov 20, 2012 in World
Israel and Gaza militants are close to agreeing to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, according to various media reports. One report noted an Israeli government spokesman saying "the ball is still in play."
As Reuters reports, the Gaza truce may soon be declared at 1900 GMT and go into effects at 2200 GMT.
Israel says it has put plans for a land invasion of Gaza on hold, according to BBC News.
"But it has also told villagers in north, south and east of Gaza to move to central areas for their own safety," the BBC News report adds.
Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi led mediation efforts between Hamas and Israel today, but it's unclear if anyone else was responsible for the declared truce.
But a new report from Reuters says a ceasefire deal with Gaza militants has not been finalized and the "ball is still in play", Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told CNN on Tuesday.
Earlier today, Reuters writes Israel was hoping to find a long-term, diplomatic solution to resolve the Gaza crisis, but will not hesitate to escalate its military campaign against Palestinian militants if needed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Middle East experts say the outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas is the result of events that have reshaped the power structures within Hamas and its relations with regional forces -- including Syria, Iran, Egypt, and Israel, as the Atlantic writes.
Around 115 Palestinians have died in a week of fighting, the majority of them civilians, including 27 children, hospital officials said. Three Israelis died last week when a rocket from Gaza struck their house, the Guardian reports.
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