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No deal without 'clear answer' to Israel's security needs: Netanyahu

Editor: Zhang Dan 丨Xinhua

08-17-2014 19:41 BJT

JERUSALEM, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel will only agree to a long- term truce with Hamas when its security needs can be fully met.

Speaking at the beginning of his weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that the Israeli delegation to the long-term truce talks is working "under very clear directive," which is to stand firm on Israel's security needs.

"Only if there will be a clear answer to our security needs will we agree to any understandings," he said.

The indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians are due to resume on Sunday in the Egyptian capital Cairo, one day before the expiration of the still-effective five-day ceasefire.

On Saturday, Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said the Palestinian factions are ready for any possibility and still stick to their demands and requirements. The Palestinians want Israel to completely lift around an seven- year Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.

Azzam el-Ahmed, chief of the Palestinian delegation in Cairo, said earlier that the ceasefire indirect talks would officially resume on Sunday and Monday.

The Palestinian delegation "is united to gain back what the Israeli occupation had taken from our people's rights, mainly building up the seaport, the airport and guaranteeing a free travel for all the Palestinians," el-Ahmed said in interview with the official Palestinian television.

Late Wednesday night, the Palestinian and Israeli delegations in Cairo agreed to the five-day ceasefire for their ongoing conflict in Gaza, which was the third time for Egypt, after intensified indirect talks in Cairo, to broker a ceasefire between the armed Palestinian movement Hamas and Israel since the Israeli offensive on Gaza started on July 8.

Ever since the start of Israel's military campaign, almost 2, 000 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians, according to Palestinian health officials.

Meanwhile, Israel saw the death of 64 soldiers and three civilians, according to the Israeli military and police.

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