Israel ready to extend Gaza truce unconditionally

Jerusalem - Israel is prepared to extend a 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza unconditionally, following nearly a month of bitter fighting with Hamas, an official said on Wednesday.

"Israel has no problem extending the ceasefire unconditionally," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The current truce, which came into effect on Tuesday, is due to expire at 08:00 local time on Friday.

The fighting between Israel and Hamas killed 1 875 Palestinians and 67 on the Israeli side, said officials. The deaths of 64 Israeli soldiers were the heaviest toll since the 2006 war against Hezbollah.