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GAZA CITY, (Palestinian Territories): Nine children were among 17 Palestinians killed Sunday in Gaza, health officials in the enclave said, amid talks of a truce after three days of intense fighting between Palestinian militants and Israel.

An Egyptian-proposed ceasefire had raised hopes that Cairo could help broker a deal to end the worst fighting in Gaza since an 11-day war last year devastated the impoverished Palestinian coastal territory.

But Gaza’s health ministry announced 10 more deaths late Sunday, among them nine children, raising the toll to 41 since fighting began on Friday.

The ministry said more than 300 people have been wounded in Gaza, which is run by the Islamist group Hamas.

Two Israelis have been injured by shrapnel over the same period, medics reported.

An AFP photographer saw two rockets being intercepted in the centre of Israel’s commercial capital Tel Aviv on Sunday evening.

Earlier in the day, an Egyptian security source said that Israel “has accepted” a ceasefire, adding that Cairo was waiting for the Palestinian response.

But a spokesman for Islamic Jihad — an Iran-backed group designated as a terrorist organisation by several Western nations — told AFP “there is no agreement” yet.

Musab al-Buraim listed the group’s demands, including the release of senior leader Bassem al-Saadi, whose arrest in the occupied West Bank was announced by Israel on Tuesday.

Nour Abu Sultan, who lives west of Gaza, said she was “awaiting the declaration of the ceasefire on tenterhooks”.

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