Israel is prepared to extend a 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza unconditionally, following nearly a month of bitter fighting with Hamas, an official said Wednesday.
“Israel has no problem extending the ceasefire unconditionally,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The current truce, which came into effect Tuesday, is due to expire at 8:00 a.m. local time Friday.
Hamas officials, several of whom are participating in ceasefire talks in Cairo, said they had not accepted Israel’s offer.
Gaza-based sources claim the fighting between Israel and Hamas killed 1,875 Palestinians, a number that Israel says includes 750-1,000 combatants.
Sixty-four Israeli soldiers were killed during the month of fighting along with two Israeli civilians and a foreign national.
The Israeli death toll was the heaviest since the 2006 war against Hezbollah, while the Palestinian death toll surpassed that of the 2008-9 war in Gaza.
Israel says it launched its offensive to bring a halt to rocket from Gaza at Israel’s towns and cities as well as to destroy a network of tunnels, dug by Hamas under the border, and used to launch attacks on Israeli territory.
Eleven soldiers were killed in tunnel attacks during the weeks of fighting.