Israelis, Palestinians begin 5-day Gaza truce

Aug 14, 2014, 6:51 AM EDT
Israel and the Palestinians have begun a fresh five-day ceasefire in Gaza, agreed at the end of a three-day truce.
AFP/Getty Images

Israel and the Palestinians have begun a fresh five-day ceasefire in Gaza, agreed at the end of a three-day truce.

According to the BBC:

As the ceasefire was announced, Israel launched air strikes in response to alleged rocket fire from Gaza. There were no more reports of violence overnight, and the two sides were expected to continue indirect talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo. The Israelis launched a military operation in Gaza on 8 July to stop militant attacks from Gaza. 'Forbiddingly difficult' Hamas, which controls Gaza and is involved in the Cairo talks, has denied its members launched rockets at Israel on Wednesday night.

Earlier, three rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel, Israel's military said.

The extension to the truce was agreed less than an hour before the existing three-day truce expired at midnight local time (21:00 GMT).

 

The delay in coming to a more permanent truce agreement is a result of several challenges, as Reuters reports:

 
A Palestinian official with knowledge of negotiations in Cairo said Egypt had presented a new proposal for a permanent truce agreement that addressed a major Palestinian demand for a lifting of the Israeli and Egyptian blockades of the Gaza Strip.
 
Israel and Egypt harbor deep security concerns about Hamas, the dominant Islamist group in the small, Mediterranean coastal enclave, complicating any deal on easing border restrictions.
 
It was unclear from the official's remarks how those worries, along with Israel's demand for Gaza's demilitarization, would be dealt with. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said disarming was not an option.

 

 

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