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In Cairo, negotiators begin to discuss blockade

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators sit down for a second day of indirect talks aimed at finding a durable end to the five-week confrontation in the Gaza Strip.

But a senior Israeli official says there had been no progress so far, telling AFP there is still a long way to go to reach an agreement to end the conflict.

“The gaps are still very wide. There has not been progress in the negotiations,” he says ahead of the return of the Israeli delegation to Cairo in the early afternoon.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian official says that while yesterday’s talks were “difficult and grueling,” today’s meetings are “the most important,” tackling core issues such as Israel’s eight-year blockade of Gaza, which the Palestinians want lifted.

Talks are scheduled to last into the evening, a Palestinian official says.

— AFP

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