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Israel agrees to three-day ceasefire plan in Gaza

Posted on Aug 11 2014 | IANS

Cairo/Jerusalem, Aug 10 : Israel has accepted the Egyptian proposal of another 72-hour ceasefire that begins Monday at 1 a.m., an Israeli official said Sunday, as the Egypt-brokered fresh truce was agreed to by both the sides in Cairo.

The unnamed official said amid Israel's decision not to negotiate with the Palestinians under fire, Israel would wait to see if the truce is kept by the Hamas and Palestinian militants in Gaza throughout the night, Xinhua reported.

He said if the Hamas adheres to the ceasefire agreement, then an Israeli delegation will head out to Cairo Monday to resume talks to reach a permanent ceasefire agreement.

Earlier, the Palestinian delegation Sunday accepted Egypt's proposal to extend the ceasefire in Gaza for another 72 hours. However, no Israeli reply on this proposal was received then.

Earlier in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would abstain from the Gaza ceasefire negotiating table in Cairo as long as there was rocket fire coming from the enclave.

"Israel will not negotiate under fire," Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting held at the defence ministry in Tel Aviv.

After intensified talks with Palestinian and Israeli delegations in Cairo, Egypt managed to broker a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire between the two sides that resumed fighting after the truce expired Friday morning.

Last week, Israel and Hamas lulled fighting for 72 hours, from Tuesday to Friday morning.

Despite last minute efforts to extend the ceasefire, Hamas resumed firing rockets at southern Israeli communities Friday morning, and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) retaliated with air strikes and artillery fire.

According to medics, five Palestinians were killed during Sunday's air strikes in the coastal enclave.

Palestinian militants kept firing rockets from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.

The ongoing Israeli offensive on the restive Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, which is going on for over a month, has left 1,914 Palestinians dead and about 10,000 others wounded, while Hamas attacks have killed 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians.

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