Israel and Palestinians agree 72-hour truce
Israel and the Palestinian factions, including Gaza’s Hamas movement, have accepted an Egyptian proposal to cease fire from 0500 GMT on August 5 for at least three days.
Egypt also invited Israel and the Palestinians to attend high-level talks in Cairo aimed at securing a longer-term deal to end a war that has killed over 1,800 Palestinians as well as dozens of Israeli soldiers.
Three similar agreements have collapsed since the violence began. Israel had resumed air strikes on Gaza after a patchy and limited seven-hour humanitarian truce ended on Monday, one attack killing two people and wounding 16, according to officials.
“We hope this will secure a permanent ceasefire and restore stability,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
A senior Hamas leader, Osama Hamdan, confirmed the deal to Al Jazeera.
“The deal is that we will have a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire,” Hamdan said.
“During those 72-hours there will be a delegation from Israel coming to Cairo. There will be indirect negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli sides for a ceasefire and the lift of a siege on Gaza and other Palestinian demands.”
Israeli officials did not immediately publicly comment, though wire agencies quoted anonymous officials as saying that Israel had notified Egypt that it had accepted the proposal.
Gaza officials say 1,834 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed by Israel’s bombadment of the tiny enclave. Israel has confirmed that 64 of its soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian shelling has killed three civilians in Israel.
Palestinian groups, including envoys of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, were already in Cairo, where they had met the head of Egyptian intelligence on Monday to present their key demands for ending the violence, which has displaced more than one quarter of Gaza’s 1.8 million people and seen more than 3,000 homes destroyed.
Immediately after the meeting, Egypt presented Israel with the demands, which included a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, an end to the blockade of the strip and the release of some prisoners.
Earlier on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had appeared to dismiss growing global pressure for a truce, saying there would be no end to the campaign without first securing a long-term period of calm for his people.
“The campaign in Gaza is continuing,” he said. “This operation will only end when quiet and security is established for the citizens of Israel for a prolonged period.”
Posted on August 4, 2014, in NEWS and tagged 2014, 72 hour, agree, agreements, al jazeera, august, breaking news, Cairo, ceasefire, deal, egypt, global pressure, humanitarian, israel, israeli officials, news, osama hamdan, palestine, palestinians, three days, three days ceasefire, truce, war. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.