Ceasefire extended for 24 hours

By Rosa Doherty, August 19, 2014
Iron Dome system intercepts Gaza rockets aimed at central Israel (Photo: IDF)

Iron Dome system intercepts Gaza rockets aimed at central Israel (Photo: IDF)

The Gaza ceasefire has been extended for 24 hours so that talks in Cairo can continue.

An Egyptian government statement released late on Monday confirmed the truce will remain in place until midnight on Tuesday to give time for a longer-term deal to be done.

Negotiating teams had returned to Cairo for indirect talks on Sunday, and on Monday both sides accepted the request for an extension to the ceasefire.

A Palestinian official told Reuters there had been "no progress" on the longer-term issues so far and without a deal, violence would go on.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli forces were "ready for all scenarios" and were prepared "for very resolute action if fire resumes".

Israel is insisting it keeps some control over Gaza's crossings to prevent the smuggling of weapons while Hamas has said it will not give up its weapons.

Israel is also concerned that building materials ostensibly meant for reconstruction could be used by Hamas to rebuild its tunnel network.

Palestinian negotiator Qais Abdul Karim said Israel wants guarantees that Hamas and other factions in Gaza would be disarmed.

Palestinians, meanwhile, are calling for an end to the Israeli and Egyptian blockades of Gaza without preconditions.

Some 2,016 Palestinians and 66 Israelis have died in the war since July 8.

Last updated: 9:40am, August 19 2014