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Renewed Gaza truce holds after rocky start

Published on Aug 14, 2014 9:21 PM
 
Palestinians collect goods and blankets in East Jerusalem, on Thursday, Aug 14, 2014, to be sent and distributed with the Red Cross to people in need in the Gaza Strip. A new, five-day truce between Israel and Hamas appeared to be holding on Thursday despite a shaky start, after both sides agreed to give Egyptian-brokered peace negotiations in Cairo more time to try to end the Gaza war. -- PHOTO: AFP

GAZA/JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - A new, five-day truce between Israel and Hamas appeared to be holding on Thursday despite a shaky start, after both sides agreed to give Egyptian-brokered peace negotiations in Cairo more time to try to end the Gaza war.

The Israeli military said Gaza militants had breached the truce by firing eight rockets at Israel shortly after midnight. In response, Israeli fighter planes targeted "rocket launchers and terror sites" across the enclave. No casualties were reported and hostilities died down by dawn.

The second extension of the ceasefire, this time for five days rather than three, has raised hopes that a longer-term resolution to the conflict can be found, although the way ahead remains fraught with difficulty.

A senior Hamas official who returned to Gaza from the negotiations in Cairo said they had been tough but expressed some optimism. "There is still a real chance to clinch an agreement," Mr Khalil al-Hayya told reporters, saying that it depended on Israel not "playing with language to void our demands". "The Egyptian mediators are entering a good effort and we wish them success in this negotiation battle."

 
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