Israel, Palestinians agree to extend Gaza truce: Egypt officials

453567526

CAIRO, August 13: Israel and Palestinians agreed late Wednesday to extend a ceasefire in Gaza for another 72 hours after failing to reach a long term agreement in Cairo-mediated talks, Palestinian and Egyptian officials said.

A previously agreed three-day truce was set to expire less than an hour afterwards, at midnight local time (2100 GMT).

“We have agreed to give more time for the negotiations,” Azzam al-Ahmed, head of the Palestinian delegation in Cairo, told AFP, saying the extra time would be a further 72 hours.

An Egyptian official said Israel also accepted the proposal. Israel had earlier said it would back an extension of the lull.

The last-ditch effort to avoid renewed hostilities came after Palestinian officials said there were still gaps in an agreement for a long-term deal to end the conflict, which has killed almost 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza since July 8.