Israel, Palestinians Agree to New 72-Hour Gaza Ceasefire

Israel Agrees to Unconditionally Return to Peace Talks

Egypt has announced they have successfully brokered a new ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, scheduled to begin at midnight tonight local time. The deal will see Israel returning negotiators to Cairo to resume peace talks.

Israeli negotiators had left the Cairo talks late Friday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying no negotiations could take place so long as the fighting continues. Israel later agreed to an unconditional return to the talks, but escalated their attacks to try to get more targets hit before the ceasefire begins.

Palestinian negotiators said their agreement to the ceasefire was entirely conditional on Israel’s promise to return to the talks. The previous ceasefire held for 72-hours, but Hamas declined an extension when Israel refused to make any agreements in principle on any of the terms of final peace deal they were trying to negotiate.

Israel has so far remained opposed to every single point the Palestinians have sought on the agreement, including ending the blockade and allowing a UN-supervised seaport in Gaza. Israeli officials have said any concessions would be perceived as having “lost” the war.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.