Egypt Pushes Israel, Palestinians For New 72-Hour Cease-Fire In Gaza

  • Israeli soldier
    An armoured military ambulance damaged in a Palestinian mortar strike is seen near the border with the Gaza Strip August 4, 2014. Palestinians accused Israel of breaking its own ceasefire on Monday by launching a bomb attack on a refugee camp in Gaza City that killed an eight-year-old girl and wounded 29 other people. An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking the report. REUTERS/Baz Ratne
  • Palestinian digs through ruble
    Palestinians dig through the rubble of a building searching for bodies after what police said was an Israeli air strike at Shati (beach) refugee camp in Gaza City August 4, 2014. Palestinians accused Israel of breaking its own ceasefire on Monday by launching a bomb attack on a refugee camp in Gaza City that killed an eight-year-old girl and wounded 29 other people. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said the strike on a house in Shati camp took place after the truce was scheduled to start on Monday morning. An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking the report. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
  • Israeli troops
    An Israeli soldier rides an armoured personnel carrier (APC) towards a staging area near the border with the Gaza Strip August 4, 2014. Palestinians accused Israel of breaking its own ceasefire on Monday by launching a bomb attack on a refugee camp in Gaza City that killed an eight-year-old girl and wounded 29 other people. An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking the report. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
  • Palestinian woman
    A Palestinian woman reacts upon seeing her house in the east of Khan Younis, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during Israeli offensive, in the southern Gaza Strip August 1, 2014. A Gaza ceasefire crumbled only hours after it began on Friday, with at least 40 Palestinians killed by Israeli shelling and Israel accusing militants of violating the U.S.- and U.N.-brokered truce by firing rockets and mortars. The 72-hour break announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was the most ambitious attempt so far to end more than three weeks of fighting, and followed mounting international alarm over a rising Palestinian civilian death toll. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
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Gaza_Aug03 A Palestinian man salvages gas canisters from the ruins of buildings destroyed by what police said were Israeli air strikes and shelling in Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip on Aug. 3, 2014.  Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly

Israel has agreed to observe a 72-hour cease-fire without preconditions in Gaza so that negotiations for a permanent truce may take place in Egypt, a senior Israeli official said. The truce was negotiated in Cairo in an attempt to get both Palestinian and Israeli delegations to Egypt to continue discussions on a more permanent peace treaty.

The Palestinian delegation, which included representatives from Hamas, Fatah and the Islamic Jihad, had already traveled to Cairo and they have also agreed to pause the fighting. The truce is said to begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.

"Following reports of a temporary cease-fire, negotiations for the implementation of the Egyptian initiative will begin. We call on the Israeli side and the Palestinian side to come to Cairo for open discussions on a permanent cease-fire, and we hope to see stability in the region soon,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said.

According to Reuters, Egypt presented the Palestinian demands to Israel following their talks with the Palestinian delegation. The demands have remained unchanged from the original cease-fire negotiations: an end to the blockade, withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and an immediate humanitarian cease-fire.

So far, Israel has only agreed to the cease-fire so that negotiations on the other demands might begin.

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the operation in Gaza even after the army announced that nearly all the “terror tunnels” were destroyed.

As the fourth week of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” comes to a close in Gaza, 1,804 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 64 Israeli soldiers have died.

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