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Gaps remain in ceasefire talks in Cairo


08-18-2014 17:49 BJT

A five-day ceasefire in Gaza is due to expire at midnight on Monday. In order to reach a more permanent ceasefire, Palestinian and Israeli delegations have returned to Cairo for Egyptian-mediated indirect talks. But gaps remain on ending the five weeks of hostilities.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any deal had to meet Israel’s security needs. He also warned Hamas it would face "harsh strikes" if it resumed firing into the Jewish state.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian official said Israel’s position in the talks were a "retreat from what had already been achieved", and that "discussions had returned to square one." He also said the Palestinians would review the situation and would offer their response on Monday.

A senior Hamas official has said there is no certainty the ceasefire will continue beyond its Monday night deadline. Hamas wants Israeli and Egyptian blockades of Gaza lifted, as well as the establishment of a seaport and airport, as part of any enduring halt to violence.

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