Israelis, Palestinians renew Gaza ceasefire


Fatah official and delegation leader Azzam Ahmed talks to journalists about a new agreement to extend a truce for five more days, outside a hotel in Cairo

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed late Wednesday to extend a ceasefire in Gaza for another 72-hours after failing to reach a long term agreement in Cairo-mediated talks, an Egyptian official said.

A previously agreed three-day ceasefire was set to expire less than an hour afterwards, at midnight local time (2100 GMT).

Senior Hamas member Izzat al-Rishq said earlier that Hamas has agreed to extend the truce with Israel for another 72 hours, the Associated Press reported.

Earlier in the day, Israeli police said a rocket landed in Israel just two hours before the end of a temporary cease-fire in the Gaza war.

But a spokesperson for Hamas denied that a rocket had been fired on Israel from Gaza.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said a rocket landed Wednesday in an open area and that it caused no damage or injuries. Later, the military said at least five rockets were launched at Israel in the lead-up to the end of the temporary cease-fire.

The Israeli military later said it had struck sites in Gaza following the rocket fire and that it was targeting “terror sites” across Gaza.

Egypt, which is mediating the talks between the two rival sides, said earlier that Israel and Hamas had agreed to extend the truce for another five days. It was not clear if the fighting would unravel the cease-fire.

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