Gaza cleric calls violation of Israel truce sinful

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A leading Islamic cleric in the Gaza Strip has ruled it a sin to violate the recent cease-fire between Israel and the Hamas militant group that controls the Palestinian territory.

The fatwa, or religious edict, issued by Suleiman al-Daya late Saturday accords a religious legitimacy to the truce and could justify any act by Gaza's government to enforce it.

"Honoring the truce, which was sponsored by our Egyptian brethren, is the duty of each and every one of us. Violating it shall constitute a sin," the fatwa read.

The Wednesday truce put an end to an eight-day Israeli offensive against Gaza militants who fired rockets into Israel. The agreement remains fragile because details beyond the initial cease-fire have not yet been worked out.

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