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Abbas urges Israel, Hamas committed to truce as Israeli FM vows to recapture Gaza

RAMALLAH/JERUSALEM, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday called on Islamic Hamas movement and Israel to be committed to a truce initiative presented by Egypt.

Abbas, who met with German Foreign Affairs Minister Frank- Walter Steinmeier in Ramallah, stressed that the Egyptian initiative is quite important to stop the blood shed in Gaza and to end the ever deepening deterioration and instability.

Following his meetings with Abbas and Palestinian Foreign Minister Reyad al-Malki, Steinmeier told a news conference that they discussed how to bring an end to the current cycle of violence in Gaza.

"The coming hours are decisive and difficult in terms of accepting the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire, and whether this initiative would succeed or not. Israel accepted it, and we hope that Hamas accepts it too," said Steinmeier.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian unity cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, convened in Ramallah earlier on Tuesday and decided to establish a special emergency fund to help soothe the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and provide all different kinds of aids.

It also called on Arab and international donors to increase their donations to the populations in the Gaza Strip.

Since the beginning of the Israeli Operation protective Edge on the Gaza Strip in July 8, the health ministry in Gaza said that 194 Palestinians were killed, including 25 women, 36 children and 10 old men, adding 1,480 injured.

Earlier on Tuesday, Nabil Abu Rdineh, an aide to President Abbas, said in a press statement that Abbas will head to Egypt on Wednesday to follow up the efforts of restoring calm in the Gaza Strip.

Also on Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the Jewish state must end the offensive in the Gaza Strip with a full control over the entire strip, as the Egypt-brokered initiative failed to halt Hamas' rocket attacks.

"Israel must go all the way," he told , suggesting that Israel should reoccupy the coastal enclave it withdrew from in 2005.

The Foreign Minister said that the rockets Hamas fired shortly after the Israeli cabinet approved the cease-fire proposal, shows a truce "is a tacit agreement for Hamas to continue to build up its power."

He said he expects world leaders, who have been pressuring Israel to agree to halt its strike in Gaza, will now back up an extended military action.

Earlier on Tuesday, Israel resumed its air raids on Gaza, after a unilateral approval of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire proposal by its cabinet was met with fire of some 35 Gaza rockets.

Meanwhile, Lebanon's Foreign Affairs Minister Gebran Bassil said on Tuesday that Lebanon would file a complaint against Israel at the UN.

Earlier in the day, Israel complained Lebanon over the rockets launched from two locations in the south of the country.

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