Thursday, Dec 18, 2014

Israel, Palestinians agree to extend Gaza truce by 24-hour

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, center, arrives for his and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov talks in Moscow, Russia. Source; AP photo Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, center, arrives for his and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov talks in Moscow, Russia. Source; AP photo
By: PTI | Cairo | Posted: August 19, 2014 3:00 pm | Updated: August 19, 2014 3:06 pm

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators here have agreed to extend a temporary truce by 24-hour to allow more time for negotiating a long-term ceasefire and end the month long conflict in the Gaza Strip that has left more than 2,000 people dead.

Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, foreground center, arrives for the talk with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrovf in Moscow. (Source: AP photo) Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, foreground center, arrives for the talk with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrovf in Moscow. (Source: AP photo)

“We agreed on a 24-hour truce in order to give time to negotiations,” said Azam el-Ahmed, the head of the Palestinian delegation in Cairo.

He said both sides should take advantage of every minute in the coming 24 hours to reach a deal on a permanent truce.

The decision came an hour before the current five-day truce ends. Media reports said the both sides are to sign an agreement on long-term ceasefire before the end of the truce.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, shakes hands with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, right, prior to their talks in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday. (Source: AP photo) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, shakes hands with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, right, prior to their talks in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday. (Source: AP photo)

Since last week, Egypt has been hosting indirect talks between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators aimed at ending the fighting which erupted on July 8, as the death toll in the Gaza Strip pushed over 2,000, mostly civilians.

Azam el-Ahmed today said that no progress was made in the ceasefire negotiations hosted by Egypt.

“There is no progress at any point due to Israeli procrastination. Until now there is no progress regarding Palestinian demands,” MENA news agency quoted him as saying.

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