Israel Gives Extra Time for Gaza Truce Efforts – source

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Israel will give extra time for diplomatic efforts needed to solve the ongoing Gaza military crisis, a source in the Israeli government circles told RIA Novosti on the condition of anonymity.

The source said that during the talks Israel continues to press for “not just an end to shelling, but also to smuggling, which can lead to remilitarization of the Gaza Strip.”

“At the moment we give [extra] time so that the agreement can be reached, but we are still ready to take all measures for self-defense,” the source said.

The official also said that any agreement with Hamas, if reached, should include guarantees not only from Egypt, but also from other states.

“We see Egypt as an important partner, but taking into account the regime change, we would like other leading international players, such as US, to secure the agreement,”

Hamas official Ayman Taha said on Tuesday the ceasefire agreement is to be announced at 23:00 Tuesday Moscow time [19:00 GMT] and is to take effect at 2:00 Wednesday Moscow time [22:00 Tuesday GMT].

Reuters reported several hours later, citing senior Hamas member Ezzat al-Rishq, that there would be no ceasefire until Wednesday at the earliest as the Israeli government had yet to respond to Hamas’ proposals.

“The Israeli side has not responded yet, so we will not hold a [news] conference this evening and must wait until tomorrow. The truce is now held up because we are waiting for the Israeli side to respond” al-Rishq told Reuters.

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