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Hamas official: We will retaliate if Israel breaches ceasefire

The Islamic resistance movement Hamas will not exercise any restraint if Israel breaks the ceasefire agreement and will retaliate, a Hamas official said.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, the movement's Head of Foreign Relations, Osama Hamdan, said the Palestinian factions had agreed to observe a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire, but added that if Israel breaches the agreement, it will face international sanctions.

Israel and the Palestinian factions agreed to observe a 72-hour unconditional humanitarian ceasefire to commence on Friday morning at 8:00 am local time, in response to an invitation from the United Nations.

However, the ceasefire reportedly broke down almost immediately, with an Israeli security official telling Haaretz newspaper shortly after 10:00 am that: "We informed UN envoy Robert Serry that the humanitarian ceasefire is over."

Reuters reported that 40 Palestinians had already been killed in the south of Gaza on Friday as of early afternoon, making it one of the deadliest days in the weeks-long conflict.

According to the ceasefire, a Palestinian delegation comprising all factions was to visit Cairo to discuss a lasting ceasefire agreement. Hamdan said that the Palestinian factions agreed to observe the ceasefire taking into account the Palestinian people's conditions so that urgent humanitarian aid could be distributed to the citizens in Gaza during the period of calm.

But with the ceasefire falling apart so quickly, the Palestinians in Gaza will continue to face a desperate humanitarian crisis and it is unclear whether or not the talks in Cairo between the Palestinians and the Israelis will still take place.


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