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Israel-Hamas Talks Make No Progress: Official

Rescue workers search for victims as Palestinians gather around the wreckage of a house destroyed in an Israeli airstrike that killed at least nine members from the al-Ghoul family, in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Aug. 3, 2014. Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

CAIRO – The ongoing indirect talks on a lasting truce between Israel and Palestinians have made no progress in the Egyptian capital Cairo, an Israeli official said Tuesday.

“The gaps are still very wide. There has not been progress in the negotiations,” Press TV quoted an official, who did not wish to be named, as saying.

The Egyptian-brokered talks entered their second day Tuesday as a 72-hour truce held on the ground.

The negotiations are reportedly aimed at reaching a long-term ceasefire in Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to discuss the Cairo talks with his security cabinet Tuesday afternoon but the meeting was called off, according to media reports.

A Palestinian official in Cairo said the first day of the talks had lasted nearly 10 hours. “The negotiations were serious,” he was quoted as saying.

“(Tuesday’s) meeting should be the most important,” the official said, indicating the talks are expected to tackle important issues such as the seven-year-old Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Hamas’ demands include a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and an end to the Israeli siege of the coastal enclave. — IANS

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