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Egypt says Gaza cease-fire extended for 24 hours


08-19-2014 10:43 BJT

Egypt has announced that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed to extend cease-fire in the Gaza Strip for 24 hours. A five-day truce expired at midnight Monday. The Egyptian official MENA news agency reported the goal is to continue ongoing negotiations. 

Palestinian delegation chief Azzam al-Ahmed says his team accepted Egypt’s call for the extension. Still, hours before the announcement, Israel and Hamas hardened their positions. 

Israeli officials insisted on Gaza demilitarization. And Hamas said it would not accept an agreement that does not include lifting the Gaza blockade. 

A diplomatic source was quoted by Egypt’s state-run al-Ahram newspaper as saying that issues like re-opening the Gaza airport and seaport will be raised in fresh talks. And Egypt managed to persuade Israel to open five border crossings into the coastal strip. 

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