GAZA CITY - Israel has announced a unilateral 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza starting on Saturday morning, according to several news reports.
Both Reuters and Yahoo! News reported that the cease-fire comes after Israel's Security Cabinet unanimously rejected a cease-fire proposal Friday that called for a week-long truce in the deadly conflict.
Israel has agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire from 07:00 am Saturday, said a U.S. official travelling with Secretary of State John Kerry, according to Yahoo! News. Kerry was was leaving Cairo without securing a longer cease-fire deal between Israel and Palestinian movement Hamas.
The cease-fire suggests progress is being made toward a longer end to recent conflict in Gaza.
Kerry's proposal had called for a temporary pause in fighting to allow Israelis and Palestinians to broker a broader deal. Israeli TV reported the deal was rejected mainly because Israel would have to cut short its effort at destroying Hamas tunnels.
Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told troops Friday that Israel may significantly widen the Gaza ground operation.
Kerry said some terminology on the truce's framework still needed to be worked out, speaking at an evening press conference in Cairo where he met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri.
We don't yet have that final framework, but none of us are stopping, he said.
A deal proposed by Egypt last week was rejected by Hamas because the group said it wasn't consulted. Hamas says any peace deal must include the lifting of a blockade against Gaza.
The failure of the new cease-fire proposal comes as five Palestinians were shot and killed in protests Friday in the West Bank after Palestinians called for a Day of Rage against the Israeli military's operation.
The circumstances surrounding the shootings in the northern village of Hawara and the southern village of Beit Omar, near Hebron, were not immediately clear.
Security was beefed up Friday in Jerusalem and the West Bank after thousands clashed with Israeli security forces Thursday night, leaving at least one Palestinian dead. Thursday's protests at a West Bank checkpoint and in East Jerusalem marked the largest demonstrations in those areas in several years.