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Gaza truce begins

Last updated: 2008-06-19

The Israel-Hamas truce in the Gaza Strip began.

An Egyptian-brokered deal to end fighting in Gaza came into effect at 6 am Thursday, with both Israel and Hamas pledging to honour it but also to retaliate quickly should there be violations by the other side.

The hours before the cease-fire saw a surge of cross-border rocket and mortar barrages by Palestinian terrorists. Israel responded with air strikes that killed a Hamas rocketeer and wounded several other gunmen.

Hamas accused an Israeli naval vessel of firing its cannon in the waters off Gaza after the truce took hold, though it was not clear what the target might have been. Israel had no immediate comment.

In the West Bank, which is not part of the deal, an Israeli soldier was wounded in clash with Nablus gunmen.

(c) JTA