Speed Reads

Israel and Palestine

Hamas asks for 24-hour truce following Israeli bombardment

Hamas on Sunday requested a 24-hour humanitarian truce with Israel, one day after the militant Palestinian group rejected Israel's offer of a temporary cease-fire. The request came hours after Israel stepped up its offensive in the Gaza Strip in response to Hamas' continued lobbing of missiles into Israel.

On Saturday, Israel proposed and Hamas rejected a temporary truce that would have lasted through midnight Sunday, with Hamas calling the terms "unacceptable" because they would not have mandated the withdrawal of Israeli troops. The newly proposed truce — which was to go into effect at 2 p.m. local time, or 7 a.m. EDT — comes just ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, which is to begin either Monday or Tuesday depending on the position of the moon.

Israel did not immediately say whether it would accept Hamas' offer of a new cease-fire. More than 1,000 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, have died in the conflict; Israel has lost 43, 40 of them soldiers.