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Palestinians accept new 72-hour Gaza ceasefire offer

Palestinians stand in rubble of the al-Qassam mosque in central Gaza Strip, after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike on Saturday.  

Palestinian negotiators on Sunday said they had accepted an Egyptian proposal for a new 72-hour truce with Israel, clearing the way for a possible resumption of talks on a long-term ceasefire arrangement in the Gaza Strip.

Israel had walked away from ceasefire talks over the weekend, after militants resumed their rocket fire on southern Israel with the expiration of an earlier three-day truce. Sunday’s decision was aimed at bringing the Israelis back to the negotiations. There was no immediate Israeli response.

“We are here to look for an agreement. We cannot have an agreement without talks, so we accepted an Egyptian proposal to have a ceasefire for 72 hours in order to resume the talks,” said a Palestinian negotiator.

In nearly a month of fighting, more than 1,900 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of civilians, nearly 10,000 were wounded and thousands of homes destroyed. Sixty-seven people were killed on the Israeli side, including three civilians.

The fighting ended in a temporary 72-hour ceasefire last Tuesday, during which Egypt had hoped to mediate a longer-term agreement. But when the three-day window expired, militants resumed their rocket fire, sparking new Israeli reprisals. The violence has continued throughout the weekend, albeit not as strong as at the height of the fighting.


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 7:31:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/palestinian-negotiators-accept-new-72hour-gaza-ceasefire-offer/article6301287.ece

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