'Big' Gaps, 'No Progress' as Israel, Palestinians Seek Deal

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/ Source: Associated Press

CAIRO -- A temporary Israel-Hamas truce was holding for a second day Tuesday as marathon, indirect negotiations on a lasting cease-fire and a long-term solution for the battered Gaza Strip were set to resume in Cairo. Hamas is seeking an end to an Israeli-Egyptian border blockade of the Gaza Strip while Israel wants Hamas to disarm.

The Israeli military said no incidents between the two sides were registered overnight — neither Hamas rocket fire at Israel nor Israeli strikes in Gaza. The monthlong Gaza war has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, Palestinian and U.N. officials say. In Israel, 67 people have been killed, all but three of them soldiers, officials there say. The Israeli delegation returned to the Egyptian capital on Tuesday after a trip back to Israel. A senior Israeli official suggested that the first day of talks had not gone well. "The gaps between the sides are big and there is no progress in the negotiations," he said. A member of the Palestinian delegation said that Egyptian officials told the delegation to expect "an extremely long negotiating session" on Tuesday — an indication that the talks may be about to enter a sensitive phase.



- The Associated Press