Egypt begins Gaza truce talks with Palestine

Cairo - Palestinian groups, including representatives from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, held their first formal meeting in Cairo on Monday with Egyptian mediators hoping to pave the way towards a durable ceasefire agreement with Israel.

Talks focused on a list of demands agreed by the Palestinian factions on Sunday, including an appeal to Egypt to ease movement across its own border crossing with blockaded Gaza. It was not clear how far the talks would progress, however, after Israel declined to send its envoys as scheduled.

Palestinian demands include a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the lifting of the blockade on the area, the release of prisoners and the start of a reconstruction process, delegation members said on Sunday.

The talks began at 09:00 GMT under the auspices of Egypt's powerful intelligence service. Egyptian diplomatic sources said that while Cairo might contemplate easing the limited freedom of movement across its border with Gaza, it was unlikely to accept Palestinian calls to allow a normal flow of trade.

Egypt insists that any discussion over the Rafah border crossing take place bilaterally with the Palestinian Authority rather than as part of any overall deal between the Palestinians and Israel to ease the Israeli blockade, the sources say.

Like Israel, Egypt opposes Hamas and has long positioned itself as a mediator in successive conflicts in Gaza but has struggled to seal a deal in the latest fighting.

Media speculation that US Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns would fly to Egypt to participate in indirect truce talks had not been borne out by Monday. A US embassy official declined to say if or when Burns might arrive.

A US-UN-brokered ceasefire proposal broke down within two hours on Friday, with Israel and Hamas trading blame.

Israel began its air and naval offensive against Gaza on 8 July following what it said was a surge of cross-border rocket salvoes by Hamas and other guerrillas. Israel later also launched ground incursions.

Gaza officials say 1 804 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed and more than a quarter of its 1.8 million residents have been displaced. Israel has confirmed that 64 soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian shelling has also killed three civilians in Israel.

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Binte Maya 2014/08/04 04:20:59 PM
I do hope they reach an agreement very soon... before any more innocent lives are lost!
Nobby Poltice 2014/08/04 05:02:13 PM
This is not going anywhere. Everyone knows the extremists and Hamas are aligned to and have their roots in the Muslim Brotherhood and the current Egyptian regime are very much opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood. For 66 years all this confrontation, conflict and hatred has lead nowhere. A completely new approach is needed by the religious crazies on both sides thrive on intolerance, hate, conflict and killing. The Middle East is doomed to further misery and the gods who are the cause of it all do nothing.
Peter Parker 2014/08/04 05:04:54 PM
"Israel has right to completely destroy Gaza". - Right-wing rabbi "Killing civilians in Gaza is allowed". - Israeli Rabbi "Raping wives and mothers of Palestinian Hamas militants is the only thing that could deter further attacks". - Israeli Professor Israel’s message to the Palestinians: Submit, LEAVE or DIE Does this sound like SELF DEFENSE?
Peter Parker 2014/08/04 05:07:12 PM
They use their media coverage to make us think that they are targeting Hamas. If it wasn't for social media how much would we actually know about the Palestinians? BBC’s Jeremy Bowen: “I saw no evidence of Hamas using Palestinians as human shields”... "Hamas is unlike Netanyahu who attacks civilians."
Peter Parker 2014/08/04 05:08:34 PM
When a women is being raped, things would be a lot more "peaceful" if she didn't resist. But asking her not to resist (just because her attacker is physically stronger) is asking her to accept her own abuse & oppression for the sake of "peace". This is what the world is asking the Palestinians to do. Israeli Army would be crushed if both sides were armed equally. FREE welfare from the US is the only thing they have. Once that ends we will see who the cowards are.
Peter Parker 2014/08/04 05:10:02 PM
The difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is simply which news paper you are reading. Terrorist is a buzz word used to push an agenda, to push the masses' button, go get them to not think. “The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” ? Malcolm X “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” ? Jim Morrison 1500 newspapers, 1100 magazines, 9000 radio stations, 1500 TV stations, 2400 publishers all owned by 3 corporations. Six Zionist Companies own 96% of the World’s Media If you're not careful, the Media will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. There is nothing between truth and falsehood except what is false. When the truth shifts its ground, even by an inch, it loses its status as the truth.
Jason Jaded 2014/08/04 05:23:35 PM
News24: "Israel began its air and naval offensive against Gaza on 8 July following what it said was a surge of cross-border rocket salvoes by Hamas and other guerrillas. Israel later also launched ground incursions." To correct the extract from News24's article above: Israel began its air and naval offensive against Gaza on 13 June [almost one month earlier] following what it said was a the kidnapping of three Israeli boys in the West Bank by Hamas. Cross-border rocket salvoes by Hamas and other guerrillas followed shortly after Israel's collective punishment, targeting and killing of innocent Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank. Israel later also launched ground incursions not long after both concluding and admitting that Hamas was ultimately not behind the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli boys after all. You're welcome!
Mohamed Ameerodien 2014/08/04 05:23:44 PM
@martin yet there are equally more videos articles and clippings that proves Israel indeed Doss what u suggesting Hamas does. Unless u actually there for yourself don't buy what ur fed thru media
Mohamed Ameerodien 2014/08/04 05:25:29 PM
@martin again ur facts are really distorted sharia law makes no such claim.
Binte Maya 2014/08/04 06:35:02 PM
How I wish this could all end!! Too many innocent lives are being lost