Israel, Hamas weigh Cairo offer as deadline looms

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Israel, Hamas weigh Cairo offer as deadline looms
LAHORE, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN - 2014/08/17: Pakistan activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami organisation take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration against Israel's military attacks in Gaza, at Lahore. A Palestinian official said, 'indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians for a long-term truce in Gaza resumed, with just over a day left before the temporary ceasefire end'. (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LAHORE, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN - 2014/08/17: Pakistan activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami organisation take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration against Israel's military attacks in Gaza, at Lahore. A Palestinian official said, 'indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians for a long-term truce in Gaza resumed, with just over a day left before the temporary ceasefire end'. (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LAHORE, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN - 2014/08/17: Pakistan activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami organisation take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration against Israel's military attacks in Gaza, at Lahore. A Palestinian official said, 'indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians for a long-term truce in Gaza resumed, with just over a day left before the temporary ceasefire end'. (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LAHORE, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN - 2014/08/17: Pakistan activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami organisation take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration against Israel's military attacks in Gaza, at Lahore. A Palestinian official said, 'indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians for a long-term truce in Gaza resumed, with just over a day left before the temporary ceasefire end'. (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LAHORE, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN - 2014/08/17: Pakistan activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami organisation take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration against Israel's military attacks in Gaza, at Lahore. A Palestinian official said, 'indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians for a long-term truce in Gaza resumed, with just over a day left before the temporary ceasefire end'. (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LAHORE, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN - 2014/08/17: Pakistan activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami organisation take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration against Israel's military attacks in Gaza, at Lahore. A Palestinian official said, 'indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians for a long-term truce in Gaza resumed, with just over a day left before the temporary ceasefire end'. (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LAHORE, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN - 2014/08/17: Pakistan activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami organisation take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration against Israel's military attacks in Gaza, at Lahore. A Palestinian official said, 'indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians for a long-term truce in Gaza resumed, with just over a day left before the temporary ceasefire end'. (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LAHORE, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN - 2014/08/17: Pakistan activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami organisation take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration against Israel's military attacks in Gaza, at Lahore. A Palestinian official said, 'indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians for a long-term truce in Gaza resumed, with just over a day left before the temporary ceasefire end'. (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LAHORE, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN - 2014/08/17: Pakistan activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami organisation take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration against Israel's military attacks in Gaza, at Lahore. A Palestinian official said, 'indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians for a long-term truce in Gaza resumed, with just over a day left before the temporary ceasefire end'. (Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Palestinians inspect the remains of the house of Amer Abu Aisheh, one of three Palestinians identified by Israel as suspects in the killing of three Israeli teenagers, after it was demolished by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, Aug. 18 , 2014. Troops also demolished the home of another militant suspected in the abduction and killing of the teens, whose deaths sparked the war in Gaza, and sealed up the home of a third. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
A Palestinian sits in the rubble of the house of Hussam Qawasmeh, one of three Palestinians identified by Israel as suspects in the killing of three Israeli teenagers, after it was demolished by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, Aug. 18 , 2014. Troops also demolished the home of another militant suspected in the abduction and killing of the teens, whose deaths sparked the war in Gaza, and sealed up the home of a third. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Palestinians inspect the rubble of the house of Hussam Qawasmeh, one of three Palestinians identified by Israel as suspects in the killing of three Israeli teenagers, after it was demolished by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, Aug. 18 , 2014. Troops also demolished the home of another militant suspected in the abduction and killing of the teens, whose deaths sparked the war in Gaza, and sealed up the home of a third. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Palestinians walk on the rubble of the house of Hussam Qawasmeh, one of three Palestinians identified by Israel as suspects in the killing of three Israeli teenagers, after it was demolished by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, Aug. 18 , 2014. Troops also demolished the home of another militant suspected in the abduction and killing of the teens, whose deaths sparked the war in Gaza, and sealed up the home of a third. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Palestinians walk on the rubble if the home of Hussam Qawasmeh, one of three Palestinians identified by Israel as suspects in the killing of three Israeli teenagers, after it was demolished by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, Aug. 18 , 2014. Troops also demolished the home of another militant suspected in the abduction and killing of the teens, whose deaths sparked the war in Gaza, and sealed up the home of a third. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
A Palestinian man stands near the rubble of the house of Hussam Qawasmeh, one of three Palestinians identified by Israel as suspects in the killing of three Israeli teenagers, after it was demolished by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, Aug. 18 , 2014. Troops also demolished the home of another militant suspected in the abduction and killing of the teens, whose deaths sparked the war in Gaza, and sealed up the home of a third. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Palestinians stand on the remnants of the house of Hussam Qawasmeh, one of three Palestinians identified by Israel as suspects in the killing of three Israeli teenagers, after it was demolished by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, Aug. 18 , 2014. Troops also demolished the home of another militant suspected in the abduction and killing of the teens, whose deaths sparked the war in Gaza, and sealed up the home of a third. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
A Palestinian boy walks in the rubble of the house of Hussam Qawasmeh, one of three Palestinians identified by Israel as suspects in the killing of three Israeli teenagers, after it was demolished by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, Aug. 18 , 2014. Troops also demolished the home of another militant suspected in the abduction and killing of the teens, whose deaths sparked the war in Gaza, and sealed up the home of a third. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
A Palestinian protester throws a piece of concrete at Israeli soldiers during clashes, following a protest against the Israeli military action over Hamas in Gaza, in the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday, Aug. 15 , 2014. Israel and Hamas are now observing a five-day temporary cease-fire in an attempt to allow indirect talks in Cairo to continue. The negotiations are meant to secure a substantive end to the monthlong Gaza war and draw up a roadmap for the coastal territory, which has been hard-hit in the fighting. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Head of the Palestinian delegation Azzam al-Ahmed (C) and Hamas deputy leader Musa Abu Marzuk (R) arrive upon at the hotel after a meeting with Egyptians seniors intelligence in Cairo on August 13, 2014. Egyptian mediators raced to bridge gaps between Palestinians and Israelis as they struggled to secure a lasting Gaza truce ahead of the midnight expiry of a three-day ceasefire, an official said. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI (Photo credit should read KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the Palestinian delegation arrive at the hotel after a meeting with Egyptians seniors intelligence in Cairo on August 13, 2014. Egyptian mediators raced to bridge gaps between Palestinians and Israelis as they struggled to secure a lasting Gaza truce ahead of the midnight expiry of a three-day ceasefire, an official said. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI (Photo credit should read KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian Fatah delegation chief Azzam al-Ahmed (R) and members of the delegation head to the second round of Egyptian-mediated indirect talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators aimed at brokering an end to the latest Israel-Hamas conflict in the Gaza Strip, on August 12, 2014 in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The skies over Gaza remained calm on the second day of a 72-hour truce as negotiators in Cairo prepared to tackle the thorny issue of the Israeli blockade. The teams gather in separate rooms at the headquarters of the Egyptian General Intelligence and never see each other, with mediators shuttling between them with proposal and counterproposal, a source said. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI (Photo credit should read KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP, PALESTINE - 2014/08/11: Palestinian family sit around their destructed house and nearby chicken farm after an Israeli air strike hit Rafah in the Southern of Gaza strip. Israeli negotiators were in Cairo for talks to end the month-old Gaza war with Palestinian militants, according to an Israeli government official, after a new 72-hours truce brokered by Egypt still on-hold. (Photo by Ibrahim Khatib/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP, PALESTINE - 2014/08/11: Palestinians gather tools from the chicken farm after an Israeli air strike hit Rafah in the Southern of Gaza strip. Israeli negotiators were in Cairo for talks on ending the month-old Gaza war with Palestinian militants, according to an Israeli government official, after a new 72-hours truce brokered by Egypt still on-hold. (Photo by Ibrahim Khatib/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A Palestinian boy stands amidst bags of flour stored at a distribution centre of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza City on August 11, 2014. An Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo for indirect negotiations with Palestinians on a durable truce in Gaza, Egypt and Israeli officials said. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian man carries bags of flour he received at a distribution centre of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza City on August 11, 2014. An Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo for indirect negotiations with Palestinians on a durable truce in Gaza, Egypt and Israeli officials said. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian men inspect the remains of graves after the Sheikh Radwan cemetery was hit by an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on August 10, 2014. A senior Hamas official said there was a 'weak' possibility that Gaza truce talks would succeed and that Palestinian negotiators could leave Cairo after a meeting with Egyptian mediators. AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian protestors throw stones during clashes with Israeli security following a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza after Friday prayers in the West Bank town of Hebron on August 8, 2014. Israel pulled out of talks in Cairo on extending a Gaza truce with Hamas after a 72-hour ceasefire ended and violence resumed, officials and medics said. AFP PHOTO/HAZEM BADER (Photo credit should read HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian man inspects his house after it was hit by an Israeli military strike in the Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, on August 10, 2014. A senior Hamas official said there was a 'weak' possibility that Gaza truce talks would succeed and that Palestinian negotiators could leave Cairo after a meeting with Egyptian mediators. AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian protestor kicks a burning tyre during clashes with Israeli security following a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza after Friday prayers in the West Bank town of Hebron on August 8, 2014. Israel pulled out of talks in Cairo on extending a Gaza truce with Hamas after a 72-hour ceasefire ended and violence resumed, officials and medics said. AFP PHOTO/HAZEM BADER (Photo credit should read HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian man chants slogans during a rally in support of the Hamas movement following Friday prayers, in the West Bank city of Ramallah on August 8, 2014. The head of a Palestinian delegation in Cairo indirectly negotiating a Gaza deal said they were committed to achieving a truce, after a temporary ceasefire expired and militants fired rockets at Israel. AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian protestor holds a Molotov cocktail during clashes with Israeli security following a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza after Friday prayers in the West Bank town of Hebron on August 8, 2014. Israel pulled out of talks in Cairo on extending a Gaza truce with Hamas after a 72-hour ceasefire ended and violence resumed, officials and medics said. AFP PHOTO/HAZEM BADER (Photo credit should read HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images)
An injured Palestinian man from the Al-Elaa family sits inside his house after it was hit by an Israeli military strike in the Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, on August 10, 2014. A senior Hamas official said there was a 'weak' possibility that Gaza truce talks would succeed and that Palestinian negotiators could leave Cairo after a meeting with Egyptian mediators. AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian man prepares to carry bags of flour he received at a distribution centre of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza City on August 11, 2014. An Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo for indirect negotiations with Palestinians on a durable truce in Gaza, Egypt and Israeli officials said. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP, PALESTINE - 2014/08/11: Palestinians gather tools from the chicken farm after an Israeli air strike hit Rafah in the Southern of Gaza strip. Israeli negotiators were in Cairo for talks to end the month-old Gaza war with Palestinian militants, according to an Israeli government official, after a new 72-hours truce brokered by Egypt still on-hold. (Photo by Ibrahim Khatib/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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CAIRO (AP) - Egyptian mediators raced Wednesday to pin down a long-term cease-fire between Israel and Hamas to prevent more violence in the Gaza war when their current truce ends at midnight.

The two sides considered an Egyptian proposal that partially addresses their demands, but deep differences kept the deal in doubt. And two hours before the cease-fire's end, Israeli police said a rocket landed in Israel, though it hit an open area and caused no damage.

Hamas signaled it was open to extending the 72-hour cease-fire, which began Sunday, to allow for more time to negotiate. During the temporary truce, Israel halted military operations in the war-battered coastal territory and Gaza militants stopped firing rockets.

"We have finished talks today without agreement. More work needs to be done to have a better deal," a Hamas official said. "We are deliberating internally over an offer to extend the cease-fire."

The Hamas official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the talks with journalists.

A spokesman for Israel's prime minister declined to comment.

A cease-fire extension would grant both sides additional time to negotiate a more sustainable truce and a roadmap for the coastal territory.

Hamas is seeking an end to a crippling blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt in 2007. The blockade has greatly limited the movement of Palestinians in and out of the territory of 1.8 million people. It has also restricted the flow of goods into Gaza and blocked virtually all exports.

Israel says the closure is necessary to prevent arms smuggling, and officials are reluctant to make any concessions that would allow Hamas to declare victory.

Israel wants Hamas to disarm, or at least be prevented from re-arming. Hamas has recovered from previous rounds of violence with Israel, including a major three-week ground operation in January 2009 and another weeklong air offensive in 2012. It now controls an arsenal of thousands of rockets, some with long ranges and powerful. Gaza militants fired more than 3,000 rockets toward Israel during the war.

Neither side is likely to see all of its demands met, but the Egyptian proposal tabled Tuesday offered some solutions. A member of the Palestinian delegation at the Cairo talks said the proposal calls for easing parts of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, bringing some relief to the territory.

The proposal leaves the key areas of disagreement, including Hamas' demand for a full lifting of the blockade and Israeli calls for Hamas to disarm, to later negotiations.

The Palestinian negotiator said he had some reservations about the proposal and would try to improve it.

"We would like to see more cross-border freedom, and also to have the question of a Gaza seaport and airport discussed," he said.

The Palestinian official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss negotiations with journalists.

As the talks continued, Hamas indicated it was sticking to its demands.

In recorded remarks broadcast on Hamas radio Wednesday, Ismail Haniyeh, the top Hamas leader in Gaza, said that "achieving a permanent truce can come only through lifting the blockade on Gaza."

Israel, meanwhile, signaled it was ready to respond to renewed fire from Gaza following the end of the cease-fire.

"We will continue to defend, continue to operate. We will be ready for any effort, any way, at any time," Israel's chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, told reporters.

Amid the cease-fire, an Associated Press video journalist and a freelance Palestinian translator working with him were killed Wednesday when ordnance left over from the war exploded as they covered a story about the conflict's aftermath.

Italian national Simone Camilli, 35, and Ali Shehda Abu Afash, 36, died when an unexploded missile believed to have been dropped in an Israeli airstrike blew up as Gazan police engineers worked to neutralize it in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya.

The war began on July 8 with Israel's air campaign against Gaza's Hamas rulers, whom Israel blamed for the kidnapping and murder in June of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Nine days later, Israel sent in ground troops to destroy Hamas' underground cross-border tunnels constructed for attacks inside Israel.

The fighting has so far killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, Palestinian and U.N. officials say. On the Israeli side, 67 people have died, all but three of them soldiers.

___

Goldenberg reported from Jerusalem. Associated Press writer Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

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