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Gaza truce extended for 24 hours

August 19, 2014 10:59 IST

Israel and Palestine have agreed to extend a temporary ceasefire in Gaza by 24 hours to allow more time for negotiating a lasting truce, a Palestinian official has said. 

The truce aims at giving more time for negotiations on a complete long-term ceasefire, said Azam el-Ahmed, the head of the Palestinian delegation in Cairo.

The decision came an hour before the current five-day truce ends. Media reports said the both sides are to sign an agreement on long-term ceasefire before the end of the truce.

Since last week, Egypt has been hosting indirect talks between the two sides aimed at ending a devastating month-long fighting which erupted on July 8, as the death toll in the war-torn Gaza Strip pushed over 2,000.

Azam el-Ahmed on Tuesday said that no progress was made in the ceasefire negotiations hosted by Egypt.

"There is no progress at any point due to Israeli procrastination. Until now there is no progress regarding Palestinian demands," MENA state agency quoted el-Ahmed as saying.

"We agreed on a 24-hour truce in order to give time to negotiations," el-Ahmed said, adding that both sides should take advantage of every minute in the coming 24 hours to reach a deal on a permanent truce. 

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