Gaza truce extended by 24 hours
Palestinians flee their destroyed neighbourhood to head to a United Nations school to take refuge for the night in the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Hanun, on August 18, 2014. [AFP]
Palestinians and Israelis have agreed to extend a five-day ceasefire for one more day and continue their talks for a lasting truce.
"Both sides have agreed to a 24-hour ceasefire," AFP quoted an official with the Palestinian delegation in the Egyptian capital Cairo as saying on Monday.
The Egypt-mediated indirect talks are being held during a halt in the Israeli onslaught on the blockaded enclave thanks to the five-day truce which is due to expire at midnight (21:00 GMT) on Monday.
The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and Israel agreed on the extension of an existing 72-hour truce for five more days late on Wednesday.
Palestinian negotiators have hinted that no long-term deal will be signed with Israel if Palestinians’ demands are not met.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said on Sunday that the group's "priority is to reach an agreement, but the occupiers must stop stalling."
"We are discussing an agreement from a position of strength, not weakness," he said, adding, "Either we have an agreement that meets our demands, or no agreement."
Hamas wants the seven-year siege of Gaza to be removed, but Tel Aviv claims it will only take the measure if Hamas is disarmed.
Israel launched a major military offensive against the blockaded Gaza Strip on July 8, which raged for more than a month.
At least 2,016 Palestinians, including 541 children, 250 women and 95 elderly men, have lost their lives so far and as many as 10,196 others have suffered injuries in the Israeli attacks.