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Egypt holds on in pushing for Gaza truce talks

English.news.cn   2014-08-20 17:54:22

CAIRO, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Egypt on Wednesday called on Israelis and Palestinians to resume indirect talks mediated by Cairo, after the ceasefire in Gaza has been breached late Tuesday, foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Egypt is expressing its profound regret at the breach of the truce in Gaza Strip and the resumption of fire and renewal of strikes between Israel and the enclave," the statement added.

Hostilities resumed late Tuesday after Israel launched strikes on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in response to alleged rocket attacks launched by Hamas into Israel. Hamas denied Tuesday it launched any rockets towards Israel during the truce.

The foreign ministry's statement added the resumption of the strikes will definitely lead to more death and wounding and will maximize the deterioration of the crisis on the innocent civilians.

"Egypt is continuing its bilateral connections with both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides to urge them again for ceasefire and continue negotiations positively," the statement added.

It added "only the negotiations could open the door for permanent ceasefire and achieve the interests of the Palestinian people especially opening the crossings and the reconstruction works."

The Palestinian delegation involved in indirect talks with Israel over a durable ceasefire left Cairo on Wednesday after the collapse of the truce and the withdrawal of the Israeli delegation.

The 24-hour truce was supposed to last till Tuesday midnight but ended earlier before that with Israel blaming Palestinians for new rocket attacks.

Shortly after the collapse of the truce, Israel launched retaliatory air strikes, killing three Palestinians, including the wife and the daughter of Qassam Brigades commander Mohamed al-Deif, adding to more than 2,000 on the Palestinian side killed in the war since it began on July 8.

An Israeli military statement said about 50 rockets had been fired from Gaza since the truce collapsed, but reported no casualties.

Deputy to chairman of Hamas political bureau Moussa Abou- Marzouq, residing in Cairo said the Palestinian delegation is in continuous talks to meet the demands of the Palestinians topped by stopping the aggression and completely lifting the Gaza's blockade.

The Hamas member held the Israeli side responsible for the failure of the negotiations so far.

Striking Gaza before ending the truce and withdrawal of the Israeli delegation and then attempted assassination of Hamas leader is unexpected step which left all sides in confusion, added Marzouq.

He denied Hamas launched any strikes into Israel on Tuesday, asserting that "it was Israel's pretext to target Hamas leaders and withdraw its delegation."

From his part, Ezzat al-Rishq, Hamas leading member and member of the Palestinian delegation in the Egyptian-mediated indirect talks, said "Israel imposes new war and we have no choice but to face and win this war."

Cairo has recently brokered ceasefire agreements between the two sides for several times over the past two weeks, hoping to reach a permanent truce to put an end to the suffering of the people in Gaza.

The Palestinians are demanding a complete lifting of Israel's blockade, access to a functional airport and seaport, along with international support for rebuilding Gaza. Israel has demanded that Hamas should be completely disarmed and the Gaza Strip demilitarized.

However, Fatah member and head of the Palestinian delegation in Cairo Azzam al-Ahmed said on Tuesday "the situation has become more complicated," adding there is no progress in the Palestinian- Israeli indirect talks.

"The Israeli delegation tries to impose their demands, which are impossible for us to accept as Palestinians," Ahmed said.

He added the Palestinian side has submitted a document of final position to the Egyptian side and we are waiting for a response.

Editor: Yang Yi
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