Israel and Palestinian militants halted attacks for several hours after US said it expected de-escalationIsrael and Palestinian militants halted their fire for several hours early on Thursday amid efforts to reach a truce, although intense rocket fire and further airstrikes throughout the day dashed hopes of an imminent ceasefire.It was not immediately clear if the seven-hour quiet – the longest since the attacks began 11 days ago – was part of an agreement that broke down or just a temporary lull in the violence. A Hamas official had earlier said a ceasefire was in reach, and Israeli media reports suggested the military believed its “goals” had largely been met. Continue reading…

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