Israel agrees to 24-hour extension of Gaza ceasefire

After Palestinian delegation member to Cairo talks says permanent truce accord reached, Egypt confirms both sides accepted temporary truce in order to continue talks.

Israel announced it agreed to extend the temporary truce in Gaza for 24 hours while – at Egypt's request – it continued to negotiate a permanent agreement with the Palestinian delegation in Cairo.



In a statement, Egypt confirmed a deal had not been reached but that talks on a long-term arrangement in Gaza Strip would continue.


"Palestinians and Israelis agreed on extending ceasefire to 24 hours to continue current negotiations," Egypt's official news agency said, quoting an official statement.


"The delegation in Cairo represents all of us. We will not renew fire given the announcement of a 24-hour ceasefire extension," said a spokesman for the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees – which had earlier declared it would resume rocket fire if an official agreement was not announced.


A member of the Palestinian delegation to Cairo confirmed earlier Monday night that the Palestinians told Egypt they were prepared to sign the Egyptian agreement on a permanent ceasefire.


"As of now, we are waiting on the Israeli cabinet to announce that it approved the agreement," said the delegation member. He claimed the second stage of the accord includes deliberations on the establishment of a seaport and airport.


Sources in Jerusalem have yet to comment on the Palestinian reports, while ministers claimed they were not contacted about the agreement. As of 11 pm, the cabinet has not convened to deliberate the offer.


An Israeli official said no agreement was reached, while another raised the possibility that the ceasefire would be extended another 24 hours until the gaps between the sides could be bridged.


Palestinian sources claimed that the pending agreement includes seven sections (which have not been confirmed by Israeli sources):


  1. Comprehensive end to blockade of Gaza, including all crossings, and international supervision over entry of construction materials
  2. Rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip under the supervision of the Palestinian unity government
  3. Provision of solution to electricity shortage within a year
  4. Extension of permitted fishing zone from six to 12 miles within six months
  5. Comprehensive end to economic blockade of the Gaza Strip
  6. An agreement, in principle, regarding a seaport, but a postponement of discussion for a month from the signing of the accord; the proposal sets new discussions – in a month – on the technical and administrative operations of the future port
  7. Postponement of deliberation on release of detainees for one month


Throughout Monday night, conflicting reports emerged from Cairo regarding the forthcoming agreement and its contents.


While Palestinian sources expressed optimism that the fighting would not resume at midnight, Israeli officials continued to emphasize that the IDF was prepared to resume its operations.


"We are prepared for every scenario. The IDF has made arrangements for a forceful response if the fighting resumes. In the Middle East you need a combination of force and resilience. The IDF has the necessary force, and the 'eternal people' have proved they are not afraid of a winding road," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the night.


He emphasized: "The combination of perseverance and fortitude will help us reach the aim of the operation – security and safety for all Israelis."


Attila Somfalvi, Roi Kais, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 08.18.14, 22:26
 new comment
This will delete your current comment