Fears for truce talks as Israel pounds Gaza

Gaza City - Palestinian negotiators have warned they will leave Cairo on Sunday if their Israeli counterparts do not show up for truce talks, after Israel pummelled Gaza with fresh air strikes that killed at least 10 Palestinians.

Negotiations for a ceasefire in Gaza are expected to resume in Cairo on Sunday with an Israeli delegation scheduled to arrive in the city, where a Palestinian team and Egyptian mediators are waiting.

But an Israeli official told AFP that talks cannot take place until Palestinian rocket fire comes to a halt. Militants slammed 25 rockets into Israel on Saturday, amid mounting calls for a new ceasefire to halt fighting that has left nearly 2 000 Palestinians dead over the last month along with 67 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

Rockets fired, air raids

Two more rockets were fired at Israeli territory early on Sunday, while the Israeli air force carried out 17 more raids, an army spokesperson said.

Palestinian negotiators warned they would leave the Egyptian capital if no Israeli delegation showed up, with one senior Palestinian setting a 13:00 GMT deadline.

"We have a meeting tomorrow (Sunday) with Egyptian (mediators). If we confirm that the Israeli delegation is placing conditions for its return, we will not accept any conditions," lead negotiator Azzam al-Ahmed told AFP.

Another senior Palestinian negotiator said they had given the Israeli delegation until 13:00 GMT on Sunday.

Britain, France and Germany on Saturday urged Israel and Hamas - the Islamist movement in de facto control of Gaza - to agree to an immediate ceasefire.

Israel 'stalling'

A Hamas leader, Mussa Abu Marzuq, warned that the next 24 hours would be crucial.

Israel "is stalling and the next 24 hours will decide the fate of the negotiations", he said.

"We will not hold talks for a long time without serious discussions," he added overnight Saturday, calling Israel's attitude "not serious".

"We do not want an escalation, but we will not accept that there is no reply to our demands."

The Cairo talks broke down on Friday after Hamas accused Israel of stalling and refused to extend a 72-hour ceasefire, setting off renewed hostilities that left 10 Palestinians dead on Saturday as Israeli warplanes battered Gaza with 50 air strikes.

The last month's fighting has devastated swathes of Gaza, with the United Nations saying at least 1 354 of the Palestinians killed have been civilians, including 447 children.

forest gump 2014/08/10 07:29:35 AM
After seeing so many people (large percentage of whom were admittedly Muslim but also church leaders with their followers and Jewish people participate in theses worldwide marches can u still say the marches were in support of religion and not for a common cause? When so many people from 3 major religions and others from not so major, were able to walk as one in support of a common cause). And you may say that the possible good which can come from such a display of unity is nullified by the fact that the march was to show solidarity for the people of Palestine but ignores other current conflicts. (A number of which are taking place to the north of Africa and in the Middle East) While is there is a number of reasons primarily amongst which are while Muslims (who for the most part were the organizers of these marches) are able to condemn groups like AL Qaeda and more recently ISIS (and their misguided actions against forces who they perceive to be the enemies of Islam) they remain our Muslim brothers. Islam does not allow for excommunication. If someone calls himself a Muslim then that is what he is. No one has the power to see what is really in a person’s heart so while his actions can be questioned knowledge of motives lies only with Allah.
rorypreddy 2014/08/10 07:57:11 AM
Lets fly ISIS flag. Death to everyone! First lets let our children fight. Then our woman, then lets get the toothless UN to cry like a baby. After all that maybe our men will accept adult responsibility and start looking at themselves and acknowledge they have a mindset of shooting and beheading innocent people worldwide
konfab 2014/08/10 07:59:29 AM
A summary if forest's tome. Muslims killing thousands of Muslims is OK, Jews killing hundreds is not.
Linda 2014/08/10 08:16:17 AM
Who continues to send rockets -Hamas. Must Israel just stand back and let them continue.
Joseph Potgieter 2014/08/10 08:29:04 AM
Jamill no offence but you need to go back to class and study your history.
rorypreddy 2014/08/10 08:32:58 AM
Gaza shouldnt exist
Jamill Ahmed 2014/08/10 08:37:26 AM
Nor does isreal
Michael Seymour 2014/08/10 08:49:19 AM
Now if only Joshua had wiped out those phillistines like he was told to do.......
Thulisa Ngcukana 2014/08/10 08:52:04 AM
Before the general elections of 2014 in South Africa,i assume there was no way the Islamic religion would have been criticised and rediculed as it is the case presently in this platform for only one reason...DA could never win the WC without the votes of the coloured community and the majority of them being muslims.The Gaza/Israel conflict is an eye opening because the muslim community is insulted and called names by the very same people who rely on them to keep the WC under the DA rule.Politics..politics..
Frank Jams 2014/08/10 09:13:53 AM
As long as Gaza is confined as a "Bantustan" from the very long blockade even prior to this skirmish, there will never be peace.Lift the blockade.