Gaza truce begins after Hamas rocket salvo at Israel

JERUSALEM Tue Aug 5, 2014 1:21am EDT

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Egyptian-mediated truce halting the Gaza war went into effect on Tuesday following a surge in cross-border rocket fire into Israel by the Palestinians Islamist group Hamas.

The ceasefire, which is meant to last 72 hours and allow for negotiations in Cairo on a more durable cessation of hostilities, began at 8 a.m. (0100 EDT).

Minutes before, air raid sirens sounded throughout southern Israel and as far north as outlying areas of Jerusalem, triggered by a volley of rockets that Hamas claimed responsibility for. There was no immediate word of casualties.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Robert Birsel)