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Israel ceasefire will cause 'huge relief': Britain

Israel ceasefire will cause LONDON: British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Saturday that Israel's ceasefire in the Gaza conflict would cause "huge relief".

"There will be huge relief at the announcement by Prime Minister (Ehud) Olmert of the end of Israeli military operations in Gaza," Miliband said in a statement released by the Foreign Office.

"As the Prime Minister (Gordon Brown) said today, too many lives have already been lost."

Miliband went on to call for an immediate end to Hamas rocket attacks on Israel.

"The deaths of over 1,000 people stand testament to the scale and duration of the conflict," he said. "It is now imperative that Hamas stops the rocket attacks against Israeli civilians."

He added that the UN and aid agencies should be allowed immediate access to Gaza and their safety guaranteed "so they may do their vital work unhindered."

Olmert said earlier that a ceasefire would come into effect at 0000 GMT Sunday after a 22-day onslaught against Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas which left more than 1,200 Palestinians dead.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will co-chair a summit on Gaza in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday.

France says Brown will be among the European leaders attending although his Downing Street office has declined to confirm this.

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