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US cautiously optimistic about Gaza truce

WASHINGTON — The US State Department expressed cautious optimism Tuesday, emphasizing a slow but consistent pace to talks toward a ceasefire between in Israel and Hamas.

“We hope and very much want a sustainable ceasefire,” Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf said during her daily press briefing, adding that the US also wants an extension to the current 72-hour ceasefire in order to prevent any further violence before a final ceasefire deal is achieved.

Harf said that in the current round of talks, the parties have been “staying at the table and talking seriously.”

Although the US has taken a behind-the-scenes role in Cairo, Harf stressed that Washington’s “immediate and top priority is to see an end to the rocket attacks and the tunnel threats against Israel and an end to the suffering of the people of Gaza.”

— Rebecca Shimoni Stoil

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