Gaza truce 'unlikely' - Palestine

Last updated 20:07 17/08/2014

Relevant offers

Middle East

Islamic State expands its 'state' in Iraq Kiwi soldiers down to work in Iraq Islamic State controls half of Syria - monitor Al Qaeda recruits had to fill in application forms Osama bin Laden's library: Terrorist was into conspiracy theories Are NZ troops safe as Islamic State moves closer? Osama bin Laden bent on US targets right up until death Iran ship heads towards Red Sea amid fears of Yemen showdown Netanyahu halts Palestinian bus separation plan Iraqi forces say thwart Islamic State attack east of Ramadi

A Palestinian negotiator said Sunday his side is ''less optimistic'' about indirect talks with Israel over the Gaza war as a deadline on a temporary cease-fire looms.

The Palestinian team reassembled in Cairo on Sunday after members returned from consultations in Qatar, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East. The Israeli team also returned Sunday to resume the Egyptian-mediated talks.

A current five-day cease-fire is due to end late Monday.

The negotiations have been going on between the sides since early last week. They are aimed at ending the latest war between Israel and Hamas-led Islamic militants in the Gaza Strip and improving conditions for the territory's 1.8 million people.

Israel wants guarantees to end rocket fire and attacks on its citizens.

Close to 2000 Palestinians have been killed - most civilians - and more than 10,000 people have been wounded since the war began July 8, according to United Nations figures.

In Israel, 67 people have been killed, all but three soldiers.  

A member of the Palestinian delegation said on Sunday that the gaps between the sides were still significant and that it was far from certain whether a deal could be reached before the cease-fire expires.

''We are less optimistic than we were earlier,'' he said.

The negotiator said that a key sticking point remains Hamas' insistence that Israel pledge to end its Gaza blockade before the talks conclude. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to discuss the issue with journalists.

Under the terms of an Egyptian proposal, Israel and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority would negotiate the end to the blockade at some point in the future.  This is the third war in Gaza since Hamas seized power there in 2007.

It began after Hamas resumed firing rockets at Israel following the arrests of suspected Hamas-affiliated militants in the West Bank. Israel said the arrests came as part of the investigation into the killing of three Israeli teens in June.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content