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Gaza-Israel truce extended for 5 days

Palestinians announce that ceasefire truce between Gaza and Israel has been extended for 5 more days
Palestinian negotiator Azzam al-Ahmad announcing extension of ceasefire between Israel and Gaza (AA)

In the longest reaching ceasefire agreement since the latest Israeli assault against the Gaza strip began, Palestinian factions announced last night a new 5 day ceasefire truce between themselves and Israel.

The announcement came just half an hour before the earlier three day truce deadline was due to expire on Wednesday night.

"The new lull will be for five days as of midnight Wednesday," Azzam al-Ahmad, a top Palestinian negotiator told reporters in Cairo.

The ceasefire was shaky from the very start with rockets being fired into Israel and Israel responding by firing at least three locations within minutes of the announcement, but since then the peace seems to have held.

Israel has yet to comment publicly on the political ramifications of last night’s agreement.

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators held two rounds of indirect talks in the Egyptian capital with a view to hammering out a permanent ceasefire arrangement. The negotiations, however, have failed to bear fruit.

Palestinian factions have linked any permanent ceasefire deal to concessions by Israel, including the lifting of a years-long blockade on the Gaza Strip and allowing the establishment of a seaport, among others.

At least 1951 Palestinians - mostly civilians - have been killed and more than 10,000 injured in Israeli attacks since 7 July .

Within the same period, at least 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed in battles with Palestinian fighters inside Gaza, while three civilians have been killed by Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.

In the meantime, groups like the World Health Organisation are calling for more assistance to be given to the besieged strip and assistance for the citizens there to rebuild.

This is the eighth ceasefire announcement to have been made since 7 July.