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Israel boosts troops on Gaza border as truce set to expire

Posted on Aug 14 2014 | IANS

Jerusalem, Aug 14 : The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) boosted its troops along the Gaza border, as the three-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is set to expire at midnight, the Israeli media said Wednesday.

The IDF summoned additional reserve soldiers and boosted its presence along the border with the Gaza Strip, Xinhua reported citing the Ha'aretz daily.

Hundreds of reserve soldiers were also told to be on standby in case of an escalation, the Walla! news website reported.

Indirect talks mediated by Egypt are still ongoing in Cairo between Israel and the Palestinians over reaching a permanent ceasefire for the Gaza offensive, which started a month ago.

There have been mixed reports and no official announcements regarding the status of the talks.

On Wednesday afternoon, the sides gathered for a crucial meeting in order to extend the 72-hour ceasefire, which started Sunday midnight.

Palestinian sources were quoted by the Walla! news website as saying that there is high probability that the truce would be extended.

Israel launched its Operation Protective Edge July 8, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 1,938 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to Palestinian health officials.

In Israel, 64 soldiers and three civilians were killed, according to Israeli military and police.

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