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Palestinians accept new 72-hour cease-fire offer



By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH and KARIN LAUB

CAIRO (AP) -- 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 cease-fire arrangement in the Gaza Strip.

Israel had walked away from cease-fire 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 cease-fire for 72 hours in order to resume the talks," said a Palestinian negotiator.

He, along with other Palestinian negotiators who confirmed the decision, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations with the media.

The Egyptian-mediated talks are aimed at brokering a long-term truce arrangement between Israel and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip following the heaviest fighting between the bitter enemies since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007.

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 cease-fire 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.

Earlier Sunday, Palestinians threatened to quit the negotiations if Israel did not return, while Israeli leaders said there would be no talks while the rocket fire continues.

"Israel will not negotiate under fire," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, warning his country's military campaign "will take time."

Hamas is seeking an end to an Israeli-Egypt blockade that has decimated the local economy.

Israel says the blockade is needed to prevent arms smuggling, and it says Hamas must disarm as part of any long-term arrangement. Hamas has said handing over its weapons arsenal, which is believed to include several thousand remaining rockets, is inconceivable

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hwlndrbrt August 10 2014 at 9:11 AM

God is with Israel and will avenge her of enemies into the future, as in the past. God bless Prime Minister Netanyahu and the people of Israel. Long Live Israel!!!

Flag Reply +56 rate up
14 replies
jorwmu August 10 2014 at 9:25 AM

Israel gave them concrete for schools and hamas built terror tunnels. Hamas can smuggle rockets in but wants the border opened so they can sneak a nuke in and destroy Israel. Hamas only wants a ceasefire to rearm! Destroy them now

Flag Reply +43 rate up
3 replies
delpino777 August 10 2014 at 9:16 AM

Israel dont stop now finish them

Flag Reply +42 rate up
4 replies
Stanley August 10 2014 at 9:12 AM

The problem is not Israel but Hamas! All they have to do is allow Israel to live in peace and there will be peace.

Flag Reply +42 rate up
7 replies
skydrop007 August 10 2014 at 9:23 AM

Vote for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Flag Reply +34 rate up
7 replies
buddwhyzr August 10 2014 at 9:14 AM

Another cease fire agreed to? OK Charlie Brown....let's have Lucy (Hamas) hold that football again.

Flag Reply +33 rate up
3 replies
skydrop007 August 10 2014 at 9:25 AM

Do you think Obama and his administration will learn anything from
watching Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu do his job?

Flag Reply +25 rate up
13 replies
dmann48 August 10 2014 at 9:18 AM

The minute HAMAS and ANY Arab will start using the word or concept of PEACE instead of TERROR most problems of the entire world will be solved.

Flag Reply +22 rate up
2 replies
farberj dmann48 August 10 2014 at 9:37 AM

it will never end.their deity demands human sacrifice,they oblige.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
ranger197172 dmann48 August 10 2014 at 10:30 AM

And you would believe them ? Give me a call i have some swamp land in Florida to sell you. Great place for apartment complex.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
userpat7248 ranger197172 August 10 2014 at 11:55 AM

Just watch out for the gators and sinkholes.

Flag 0 rate up
delpino777 August 10 2014 at 9:22 AM

if you live one cockroash alive they be back ISRAEL FINISH THEM NOW

Flag Reply +22 rate up
1 reply
doketx delpino777 August 10 2014 at 9:30 AM

That's really not very kind to cockroaches.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
xhertx August 10 2014 at 12:11 PM

oh wow PALESTINIANS accept... woopdeeedoo.... the people who house and encourage terrorism!!! Israel needs to blow them off the map!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
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