Cairo, Aug 11 IANS | 4 months ago

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators began their indirect talks here Monday to find a long-term solution to the conflict in Gaza, BBC reported.

The fresh discussions come amid a new three-day ceasefire agreed between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas.

In Gaza, according to BBC, the truce is holding so far, with signs of normal life returning to the streets.

Nearly 2,000 people have been killed since the fighting in Gaza began July 8.

According to the UN, those killed include over 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians.

Also, 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the fighting and three civilians in Israel have also died.

On Friday, Israeli negotiators had left Cairo after failing to agree a deal with their Palestinian counterparts. But the Israeli delegation returned to Cairo Monday after agreeing to resume talks as long as the 72-hour ceasefire, which began at midnight (21:00 GMT Sunday) held.

Shortly before midnight, Palestinian militants fired several rockets against cities in Israel near the border with Gaza and at least one on Tel Aviv, EFE reported.

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) bombarded at least 20 targets in Gaza, killing four Palestinians, including two children, according to local health officials.

Israel claimed that one of the dead, who was killed in an attack carried out shortly before midnight, was responsible for tunnelling.

The truce brokered by Egypt, which acts as a mediator, opens a quiet period for the two parties to try to resolve their differences at the negotiating table.

(Posted on 11-08-2014)

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