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Cairo delegation says next 3 days last chance for Gaza truce

Aug. 11, 2014 10:18 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 11, 2014 6:28 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian delegation in Cairo has told Egyptian mediators that the next three days will be the last chance for reaching a comprehensive truce agreement with Israel, an official said Sunday.

Qays Abu Layla, deputy secretary-general of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told Ma'an from Cairo that as of Thursday all Israeli responses to ceasefire initiatives have been negative, with Israeli officials seeking a return to the pre-war status quo.

"The Israeli delegation didn't bring anything new during Thursday's meeting. They are talking about types and quantities of commodities to be allowed into Gaza, as well as merchants and other minor issues. Their response was completely negative, and so we rejected it," Abu Layla said.

The Palestinian delegation has been demanding an end to the Israeli blockade, the release of re-arrested prisoners, reconstruction of Gaza, building a seaport and airport, removing the buffer zone, and enlarging the fishing zone.

"The Israeli delegation told the Egyptians that the airport and seaport issues are out of question, and with regards to other Palestinian demands, they brought nothing new at all," the DFLP official added.

Israel demanded that PA security services take control of all Gaza crossings but the details have not been discussed further, Abu Layla said, adding that Hamas would not oppose the presence of PA security personnel.

The Egyptians have not made concrete proposals for the Rafah crossing, Abu Layla said, but have stated that their priority is security.

It has been suggested that some 1,000 officers of the PA presidential guard would be deployed at the crossing and along the Egyptian-Gaza border.
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