Palestinians accept new 72-hour ceasefire offer

Cairo - Palestinian negotiators on Sunday said they had accepted an Egyptian proposal for a new 72-hour truce with Israel, clearing the way for a possible resumption of talks on a long-term ceasefire arrangement in the Gaza Strip.

Israel had walked away from ceasefire talks over the weekend, after militants resumed their rocket fire on southern Israel with the expiration of an earlier three-day truce. Sunday's decision was aimed at bringing the Israelis back to the negotiations. There was no immediate Israeli response.

Seeking agreement

"We are here to look for an agreement. We cannot have an agreement without talks, so we accepted an Egyptian proposal to have a ceasefire for 72 hours in order to resume the talks," said a Palestinian negotiator.

He, along with other Palestinian negotiators who confirmed the decision, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the negotiations with the media.

The Egyptian-mediated talks are aimed at brokering a long-term truce arrangement between Israel and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip following the heaviest fighting between the bitter enemies since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007.

In nearly a month of fighting, more than 1 900 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of civilians, nearly 10 000 were wounded and thousands of homes destroyed. Sixty-seven people were killed on the Israeli side, including three civilians.

The fighting ended in a temporary 72-hour ceasefire last Tuesday, during which Egypt had hoped to mediate a longer-term agreement. But when the three-day window expired, militants resumed their rocket fire, sparking new Israeli reprisals. The violence has continued throughout the weekend, albeit not as strong as at the height of the fighting.

No talks while rocket fire continues

Earlier on Sunday, Palestinians threatened to quit the negotiations if Israel did not return, while Israeli leaders said there would be no talks while the rocket fire continues.

"Israel will not negotiate under fire," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, warning his country's military campaign "will take time".

Hamas is seeking an end to an Israeli-Egypt blockade that has decimated the local economy.

Israel says the blockade is needed to prevent arms smuggling, and it says Hamas must disarm as part of any long-term arrangement. Hamas has said handing over its weapons arsenal, which is believed to include several thousand remaining rockets, is inconceivable.

- AP
rorypreddy 2014-08-10 03:10:05 PM
Guess who will break it first?
Mally Gee 2014-08-10 03:14:06 PM
It must be great comfort for Hamas to know that Israel will always accept a ceasefire or offer of peace, without doubt. Israel seeks peace at every turn but will never compromise the safety of its citizens. Never, ever will Israel be the aggressor. Peace is just an Arab decision away, for Israel's choice is already made - they sit at the round table of peace already just waiting for the Arabs to join them.
Brooklax Mpundus 2014-08-10 03:22:12 PM
Fukc these terrorists israel . Take them out. Everyone is getting sick of their games ! There will be no peace , while these camel jockeys litter the earth !
Nazeem Variawa 2014-08-10 03:51:45 PM
Hi Mally
Finya Ngendololwane 2014-08-10 03:58:05 PM
I think Bibi must stop playing an existential Russian roulette with the people of Israel. He must not also alienate US President by saying he must not second guess him. The fact of the matter is Hamas are not going away from Gaza and instead they are getting even stronger. The Prime Minister of Israel must try to find a way of making friends with Khaled Meshal however painful it maybe. Israel has so much to offer and the world want to see Israel living in peace with all Middle East countries including Palestine.
Anthoula Joshua 2014-08-10 03:59:14 PM
It is simple. If Hamas truly wants peace for all and the blockade lifted they must just hand in their rockets and weapons. So why don't they? They don't want peace. HAMAS DOES NOT CARE for loss of INNOCENT lives. HAMAS has one goal and that is to rule Palestine and Israel. They are not the elected government. The Israelis' will leave Palestinians in peace if HAMAS is no longer a threat. Even the Egyptians are tired of them and ANTI HAMAS.
Brent Goldwyer 2014-08-10 04:09:32 PM
until the Fuc*tards fire the rockets at Israel again
George Gibbs 2014-08-10 04:14:19 PM
Yip abs when Gaza fires missiles again, the the big bad wolf Israel is to blame when the retaliate!!!
Avi Stein 2014-08-10 04:19:37 PM
A jewish sniper boasted in Instagram of killing 13 Palestinian children in the southern Palestinian province of Gazaa on a single day, and caused an uproar in social networks. A member of a Zionist terrorist gang, the IDF, David Ovadia wrote on his account: "I killed 13 childrens today and ur next f****** muslims go to hell b******". Another record of the bloody Jew says: "Stop running u gonna die anyway". Shortly after posting these messages, Ovadia went private, according to International Business Times UK, and journalists are not able to identify the posts of the killer of Palestinian children. Social network users reacted angrily to the boasts of the stinky dirty Jew, wishing him a "one-way ticket" into the "gas chamber of Hell".
freeman.segapu 2014-08-10 04:19:55 PM
Muslims have the rights to die all of them without pity or remorse. I'm not making it up I've got proof here it is from qua ran what surprises me is what is USA,UN and others waiting for. """Islam believes in this text from quran " Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah (fine) willingly while they are humbled" surat al-Tawba 29