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Gaza quiet as ceasefire holds firm

AN open-ended ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip is holding.

The Gaza war - the third round of fighting since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power in 2007 - left more than 2,100 people dead, resulted in widespread destruction of the densely populated area and paralysed large parts of southern Israel.

Israeli media reported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had deliberately not put the ceasefire issue to a vote in his security cabinet because of opposition from ministers who wanted to continue the fighting.

The UN secretary-general has welcomed the ceasefire but warned "any peace effort that does not tackle the root causes of the crisis will do little more than set the stage for the next cycle of violence".

The statement by the spokesman for Ban Ki-moon said Gaza "must be brought back under one legitimate Palestinian government", that the blockade of Gaza must stop and Israel's security concerns must be addressed.

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