TEL AVIV, August 10 (RIA Novosti) – Israel has agreed to another ceasefire in the Gaza strip and is planning to send its delegation to Egypt on Monday to continue negotiations on a final settlement of the conflict with Palestinian militant groups, including Hamas, a source in the Israeli government told RIA Novosti on Sunday.
“Israel has accepted an Egyptian initiative. If true ceasefire enters into force, the Israeli delegation will arrive in Egypt tomorrow,” the source said.
The three-day truce, the second one since the conflict erupted a month ago, enters into force at midnight local time (21:00 GMT). Reuters and AP citing sources in the Palestinian delegation earlier reported that Palestinians had agreed to halt rocket attacks against Israel.
Egypt, which is mediating the dialogue, urged the two sides to agree to a 74-hour ceasefire and come back to the negotiating table.
Earlier in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to return the country’s delegation to Cairo for Gaza talks unless the Palestinian militants stop the shelling of the country’s territory.
Indirect talks between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, mediated by Egypt, started last week during the first 72-hour ceasefire. Palestinian groups refused to extend the truce, saying that Israel failed to meet their demands and resumed attacks. Israel responded with renewed Gaza shelling and withdrew from the ceasefire negotiations in Cairo.
Fighting between Israel and Hamas militants has not abated for a month, since Israel launched its Gaza offensive on July 8, targeting the Hamas movement and its allied groups of rebels. On July 17, Tel Aviv switched to a ground offensive to destroy the network of Hamas tunnels around the border area.
The conflict has claimed the lives of about 1,900 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 67 Israeli citizens.