CAIRO/GAZA/JERUSALEM, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Israeli negotiators arrived in Cairo on Monday to continue talks on a permanent truce deal ending a month-long conflict, hours after a new 72-hour cease- fire in Gaza went into effect.
The new truce, which began at 00:01 am (2101 GMT on Sunday), will pave the way for talks mediated by Egypt to end the war that has killed at least 1,939 Palestinians and 67 on the Israeli side since July 8.
Israel announced Sunday that its delegation would only return to Cairo once the truce was implemented.
Last week, Egypt mediated a 72-hour truce between Israel and Palestinian factions, from Tuesday to Friday morning.
The Islamic Hamas movement insists that Israel lift a blockade imposed on the Strip, open the passages into and out of Gaza, enable the building of a seaport and airport in the Strip and release 56 Hamas members from Hebron, incarcerated by Israel during its military operation in the West Bank in June, following the kidnap and killing of three Israeli teens.
Israel rejects the ideas of building a seaport and airport at present time and demands a demilitarization of the Gaza Strip and the disarming of Hamas, a demand the organization vehemently objects.
Israel is interested in having the Palestinian Authority in charge of the passages into and out of Gaza.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that these new negotiations "would be the last chance for a deal."
Egypt's Foreign Ministry urged Israel and the Palestinians "to use the new truce to work toward a comprehensive and lasting cease- fire agreement," after an earlier three-day truce collapsed on Friday.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he hoped the new agreement would give the two parties another chance to agree on a durable cease-fire for the benefit of all civilian populations.
"The United Nations stands ready to assist in the implementation of an agreement that would consolidate peace and allow for much needed reconstruction and development of Gaza," a statement from his spokesman said.
Azzam el-Ahmad, member of the Fatah Central Committee, who heads the Palestinian negotiators in Cairo, said his team is ready to continue through Egypt the indirect negotiations with Israel to reach a permanent cease-fire and facilitate the inflow of humanitarian aid for the Palestinians and the reconstruction of Gaza.
He told official Palestine TV that Israel should be more serious and work on reaching a final understanding on the Palestinian demands to end the Gaza blockade as well as ending its military operation on the Hamas-ruled territory.