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Cairo (AFP) — Israel and the Palestinians have agreed a new 72-hour Gaza ceasefire that would start at 0500 GMT Tuesday, said a senior official in Egypt, which is hosting truce talks.

“Egypt’s contacts with relevant parties have achieved a commitment for a 72-hour truce in Gaza starting from 0500 GMT tomorrow morning, and an agreement for the rest of the relevant delegations to come to Cairo to conduct further negotiations,” the official told AFP.

A Palestinian delegation, including Hamas representatives, has been holding talks in Cairo with Egyptian mediators for a durable truce in Gaza, but Israel has not yet sent any negotiators to the Egyptian capital.

“The Palestinians have agreed to a ceasefire proposed by Egypt,” Azzam al-Ahmed, leader of the Palestinian delegation, told reporters in Cairo.

There was no immediate comment from Israel.

AFP Photo/Jack Guez

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Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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