The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement announced on Tuesday evening that it had agreed to a US proposal for a ceasefire during the visit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the region. However, claimed Hamas, the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, refused to do likewise.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that the movement had received the offer from the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry.
Abu Zuhri stressed earlier that Netanyahu's claims that Hamas refused to calm the fighting in the Shujaya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City, is untrue and a distortion of the facts. The movement had, he added, agreed to several proposals by the International Committee of the Red Cross to declare calm in Shajaya, but Israel always refused them.
Ban Ki-moon arrived in Ramallah on Tuesday from Tel Aviv. "The message I have has three objectives," he said, as he urged all parties to support international efforts to end the fighting in the Gaza Strip.