Gaza Cease-fire to begin on Tuesday

JERUSALEM (AP) -- A senior Israeli official says the Israeli government has accepted an Egyptian cease-fire proposal to end a monthlong war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

The official says a preliminary 72-hour truce will begin on Tuesday morning. An Israeli delegation will head to Egypt for talks meant to work out a long-term truce in the next three days.
The official said Israel will be watching "with a certain amount of skepticism," since previous cease-fire plans have quickly collapsed.
He spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal announcement by the Israeli government.
Palestinian officials have already said they accepted the Egyptian proposal.



US expresses support for Mideast cease-fire
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States is expressing strong support for a proposed 72-hour cease-fire in the monthlong war between Israel and Hamas.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (SAH-kee) on Monday urged both parties to respect a break in hostilities that have killed nearly 2,000 people.
Psaki said the United States has been steadfast in demanding an end to rocket and tunnel attacks against Israel and an end to the suffering of the people of Gaza.
She commended the government of Egypt for its role in trying to end the violence. Israel and Hamas accepted the cease-fire that is set to begin on Tuesday.
Psaki said the United States will continue to work with other countries to try to produce a durable solution for the long term.


Obama signs funding package for Israel's Iron Dome
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has signed a bill granting an additional $225 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.
The defense system has been highly effective in the current round of violence between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. It allows Israel's military to shoot down incoming rockets or mortars headed toward major population centers in Israel. Israeli officials say it has a success rate as high as 90 percent.
The U.S. has provided hundreds of millions of dollars for Iron Dome in the past. The new package is intended to replenish Israel's capabilities.
Congress approved the money last week before lawmakers left for their annual summer break. Obama signed the bill late Monday in the Oval Office with a handful of photographers present.


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