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Throughout the day, Mr. Morsi and Gaza militants predicted a cease-fire at any moment.

At one point, Mr. Morsi declared, “The farce of the Israeli aggression will end today, Tuesday, and the efforts to reach a cease-fire between the Palestinians and Israelis will produce positive results within a few hours.”

Later, Hamas officials meeting in Cairo said the agreement would be announced at 9 p.m. Israel time and would go into effect at midnight.

But 9 p.m. passed without any announcement. Hamas said the delay was caused by Israel’s failure to respond to the latest draft cease-fire proposal submitted after three days of indirect negotiations between Israeli and Hamas representatives.

A last-minute hitch, however, apparently raised questions about when, even whether, there would be an agreement.

Arab Affairs commentator Ehud Ya’ari said the agreement, which remains secret, apparently would consist of three parts.

The first is the cease-fire. The second is an agreement under which Egypt would reopen its own border with the Gaza Strip.

The third would allow U.S. and Egyptian inspectors to ensure that no weapons are smuggled into Gaza from Egypt.

Hamas has other demands, including an end to Israel’s targeted assassinations of militants and access to Gaza by foreign vessels.

Jerusalem targeted again

For the second time since the shooting started, Hamas fired a rocket in the direction of Jerusalem, but it again fell short. Police said it landed in an open area inside a West Bank Arab village without exploding.

A second shell hit not far away near the largely Arab city of Hebron.

Hamas gunmen also killed six Gaza residents accused of spying for Israel.

Israeli aircraft increased attacks, targeting terrorist commanders. More than 130 people have been killed in Gaza since Nov. 14, when Israel began its retaliation for months of Palestinian bombings of Israeli towns and cities.

Israeli officials say half of those killed were terrorists, but the dead include many women and children.

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