Thursday, May 28
Latest News
  1. Libya issues warning after PM escapes assassination
  2. Nebraska becomes 19th US state to halt death penalty
  3. Referendum to ask should Britain 'remain' member of EU
  4. US army says 22 possibly exposed to anthrax at S. Korea base
  5. Minister: Malaysia believes 139 bodies in migrant graves
  6. Chief of Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate pledges no attacks on the West
  7. Syrian soldiers tell of harrowing escape from besieged hospital
  8. Blatter ally AFC opposes FIFA vote delay
  9. Libya issues warning after PM escapes assassination
  10. Coalition raids on rebels in Yemen capital kill 43
  11. EU asks member states to admit 40,000 asylum seekers
  12. Official: Bangladesh plans to move thousands of Rohingya to island
  13. Iraq forces in Anbar push, stir over operation codename
  14. Brother urges Iran to free reporter held on 'laughable' charges
  15. Yemeni pleads guilty in New York to Al-Qaeda conspiracy
  16. UN seeks new date for Yemen talks
  17. Draft bill on transsexuals sent to Iran parliament
  18. EU to unveil latest plan to absorb migrants fairly
  19. Spokesman: Libya PM escapes assassination attempt
  20. AFP: Multiple explosions, gunfire in Kabul diplomatic area

Ceasefire talks continue in Cairo as midnight deadline nears

Aug. 18, 2014 7:15 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 20, 2014 10:08 P.M.)
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- A six-hour negotiations session was held on Monday following a nine-hour session on Sunday night, Palestinian sources close to the Cairo ceasefire talks told Ma'an.

There are no major disagreements among the Palestinian factions, the sources said.

The five-day ceasefire expires at midnight on Monday, giving the Israeli and Palestinian delegations just hours left to either reach an agreement, accept a further extension or risk a resumption of the fighting which has wreaked destruction across the Gaza Strip.

The aim is to broker a long-term arrangement to halt over a month of bloody fighting which erupted on July 8 although both sides have largely lowered their guns since Aug. 4 thanks to a series of temporary truce arrangements.

Ahead of the deadline, President Mahmoud Abbas was travelling to Doha Monday for talks with exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal and Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Qatar is a key backer of Hamas, the de facto rulers of Gaza.

As diplomatic efforts intensified, Gaza's health ministry said the death toll from the fighting rose above 2,000 as more people succumbed to injuries. The figures showed 2,016 people had been killed and another 10,196 wounded.

Among the dead were 541 children, 250 women and 95 elderly men.

Separately, the Israeli army confirmed that five of 64 soldiers killed in combat had died as a result of "friendly fire."

'No positive results'

Despite the concern over the looming deadline, the streets of Gaza City were relatively full, bustling with women and children shopping for food, as men sat outside in the shade, chatting or watching the world go by.

Elderly people could be seen hitching a ride on a donkey cart, as pedestrians picked their way past piles of rubbish and debris from the war.

With the negotiations in their final stretch, meetings at the Egyptian intelligence headquarters resumed Monday, but there was little indication that either side was willing to back down on its demands.

"The fifth day of the ceasefire and the negotiations between the resistance and the Zionist enemy ends today," Hamas' exiled deputy leader Mousa Abu Marzouq wrote on his Facebook page shortly before the talks began.

"No positive results until now. Everything will be decided on the ground."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel would only accept an agreement which contained "a clear answer" to its security needs, while Hamas has insisted there will be no deal without an end to Israel's eight-year blockade on Gaza.

Following talks with Meshaal in Doha, Abbas will travel to Cairo later in the week to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a Palestinian official told AFP.

In Israel, in absence of concrete information coming from the talks, most commentators were pessimistic about the warring sides reaching an agreement by midnight, saying the gaps are simply too big.

The talks are centered on an Egyptian proposal for a lasting ceasefire, which postpones discussions on the thorniest issues, such as Hamas' demands for a seaport and airport in Gaza, for another month.

Negotiations over exchanging the remains of two Israeli soldiers thought held by Palestinian militants for the release of Palestinian prisoners would also be delayed for a month.

AFP contributed to this report.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015