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Israel and Palestine 'agree truce extension'

19 August 2014 [10:30] - TODAY.AZ
Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed to extend a temporary ceasefire in Gaza by 24 hours as the search for a permanent deal continues, according to several reports, Al Jazeera reported.

The AFP and Reuters news agency, and the Egyptian state news agency, said on Monday that the extension was agreed hours before a renewal deadline of 9pm GMT.

The AFP and Reuters quoted a Palestinian official as saying the deal had been struck, while the Egyptian state agency, SIS, said that talks in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, would continue on Tuesday to secure a permanent ceasefire.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, was reported on Monday to be meeting government officials over efforts for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Negotiators in Cairo were pushing Israel and the Palestians to put a decisive closure to more than a month of fighting that has killed more than 2,000 people and caused over 10,000 injuries, the bulk of whom were civilian Gazans.

The aim of the talks is to broker a long-term agreement to halt fighting that erupted on July 8, altough both sides have largely decreased their attacks since August 4 due to a series of temporary truces.

A senior member of the Palestinian delegation insisted there had been "progress", with both sides demonstrating "a great degree" of flexibility.

"The Egyptians have submitted a draft that was met with a great degree of flexibility by both sides, the Israelis and Palestinians. There has been progress," he told AFP. "Both delegations are now consulting with their leaderships."


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