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Egypt, US, Israel agree temporary ceasefire in southern Gaza, opening of Rafah crossing at 0600 GMT

a view of trucks carrying humanitarian aid for palestinians
Trucks carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians wait for the re-opening of the Rafah border crossing to enter Gaza Sinai peninsula, Egypt, October 16, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer

Egypt, Israel and the U.S. agreed to a ceasefire in southern Gaza beginning at 0600 GMT coinciding with the re-opening of the Rafah border crossing, two Egyptian security sources said on Monday.

The sources said the ceasefire would last for several hours but they were not clear on the exact duration. They also said the three countries had agreed that Rafah would be open until 1400 GMT on Monday as a one-day initial re-opening.

Rafah, which is on the border between Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Hamas-governed Gaza, is the only crossing into the territory not controlled by Israel.

Reuters images showed aid trucks from Egyptian NGOs in the Sinai town of Al-Arish on Monday morning, waiting for permission to make the hours-long trip to Rafah.

Assistance that had come from several countries and organisations has been stalled in al-Arish awaiting an agreement on the delivery of aid and evacuation of foreign nationals from Gaza, which U.S. Secretary of State Blinken said had been achieved after a visit to Cairo.

Asked for confirmation, the Israeli military and the U.S. Embassy in Israel had no immediate comment.

Salama Marouf, head of the Hamas government media office, said they have received no confirmation from the Egyptian side about intentions to open the crossing.

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