The latest 72-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip expired, and saw a brief exchange of fire, with a handful of rockets fired into Israel and Israel launching several strikes on Gaza. Casualties have yet to be confirmed on either side.
It was just a blip, however, and both sides have now confirmed agreeing to another 120 hour (5 day) extension to continue the peace talks in Cairo, which have reportedly made some progress.
Reports from earlier in the week say Israel has agreed to open a border crossing, easing travel between Gaza and the occupied West Bank. They also agreed to allow increased material into the strip, and to extend the fishing zone.
Both sides are downplaying the progress, and saying there are significant disagreements that remain, but this is not unusual when they meet. The primary stumbling blocks appear to be Israel’s refusal to consider a Gaza seaport and Hamas’ refusal to unilaterally disarm.
Hamas officials appeared more or less united on the ceasefire extension publicly, while several Israeli cabinet officials expressed annoyance, lashing Prime Minister Netanyahu for not keeping them informed and demanding that the war be continued, even escalated until some sort of total military victory was achieved.