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Palestinians accuse Israel of ‘stalling’ in truce talks

Palestinian officials accuse Israel of stalling truce talks as a 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza nears its end, saying they have not decided whether to extend it or resume fighting.

Egyptian mediators in Cairo are expected to meet with a Palestinian delegation later on Thursday to relay Israel’s terms, with one Palestinian official saying the Israelis are “procrastinating.”

Israel indicated on Wednesday it would be willing to extend the ceasefire, which expires at 8 a.m. on Friday.

But a Palestinian official in Cairo says the Israeli proposal amounted to just a ceasefire while refusing key Palestinian demands, which include an end to Gaza’s blockade and the release of prisoners.

“The Israeli delegation is proposing extending the ceasefire while refusing a number of the Palestinian demands,” says the official.

Another Palestinian official accuses the delegation of “wanting to procrastinate and stall the negotiations.”

“As of now there is no official stance on renewing the truce or resuming the fighting,” says Fawzi Barhoum.

Another Palestinian official close to the talks in Cairo says the factions think the talks could fail and “they will resume fighting tomorrow.”

Egypt, however, is exerting “tremendous pressure to achieve progress in the talks,” says a Palestinian official in Cairo.

AFP

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