Israel will not send envoys to truce negotiations in Egypt Saturday aimed at ending the deadly Gaza conflict, an Israeli official said. Blaming the enemy Islamist militants for misleading international mediators, the Israeli official said "Hamas is not interested in accommodation." Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi however said the cease-fire plan proposed by his country was the best chance to end the bloody battle which has raged for 26 days. "The Egyptian initiative is a real chance to find a real solution to the crisis taking place in the Gaza Strip," he told a joint press conference in Cairo with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. "Lost time ...complicates the situation more and more." The planned 72-hour truce broke down within hours on Friday, with both sides blaming each other and an Israeli soldier going missing.
A Palestinian delegation including Hamas officials was due to arrive Saturday in Cairo, but following the breakdown of Friday's truce, Hamas officials in Gaza will not attend.
First published August 2 2014, 6:05 AM