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article imagePalestinians say ceasefire with Israel extended for five days

By Nathan Salant     Aug 14, 2014 in World
Cairo - Palestinian negotiators in Cairo say a new ceasefire agreement has been reached with Israel to allow further negotiations on a longer-term deal.
Delegation leader Azzam al-Ahmed told Cable News Network (CNN) that the new agreement was for five days beginning at Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET.
The new deal is intended "to give more time to reach an agreement on the issues between the two parties," senior Hamas member Izzat Risheq also told CNN.
The comments suggested that a far-reaching deal could be imminent between Israel, which took over the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war and withdrew from the territory in 2005, and Hamas, which seized control from the Palestinian Authority in 2007.
Nearly 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed in the latest round of violence in Gaza, which began last month after three Jewish teens were kidnapped and killed in the West Bank.
The announcement came despite reports of additional rockets fired Wednesday from Gaza toward Israel, and reports that Israel had fired warning shots at Palestinian fisherman who ventured too far offshore, CNN said.
"Just one rocket is probably something we can move on from," an Israeli official told CNN before the ceasefire deal was announced.
But four additional rockets fired from Gaza hours later also did not appear to appreciably delay the announcement.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said his organization was not responsible for the rocket fire, CNN said.
The lull in the fighting has given Gaza residents the opportunity to repair damage to thousands of homes and to stock up on supplies that have been hard to come by during the past month of violence.
More than 300,000 Palestinians have been forced to leave their homes in Gaza, CNN said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross told CNN that it had brought in truckloads of water, mattresses, surgical equipment, food and household items.
Both sides pledged to return to negotiations in Cairo to explore the possibility of a longer cessation of hostilities, CNN said.
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