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Israel, Hamas ‘agree on truce’ to end escalation in Gaza – reports

Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group ruling in Gaza, agreed on a truce on Thursday, two Palestinian officials said. The understanding could end an escalation in fighting that has drawn mutual threats of war, but there was no formal comment from Israel. An Israeli official denied a ceasefire had been reached, AFP reported Friday. Israel rarely acknowledges reaching any such agreement with Hamas, a group it designates as a terrorist organization and with which it has fought three wars in the past decade. “Egyptian efforts managed to restore calm between Palestinian factions and Israel that will end the current escalation,” a Palestinian official said. A second Palestinian official with knowledge of the talks said the ceasefire would begin at 20:45 GMT.