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After a second cease-fire was announced this morning between Israel and Gaza, Israelis began pulling troops from Gaza, while mediators in Cairo will try to reach a peace deal with both sides.

According to the AP, the announcement of a 72-hour break in fighting was made at 8 a.m. If the let-up continues, it will be longest cease-fire so far in a battle that has killed 1,900 Palestinians and 67 Israelis.

Israel withdrew its ground forces from Gaza’s border areas, and both sides halted cross-border attacks as the three-day truce took effect at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) Tuesday. The shelling stopped and in Gaza City, where streets had been deserted during the war, traffic picked up and shops started opening doors. The Palestinian delegation in Cairo is led by one of Abbas’ confidants, but also includes members of Hamas and other factions.

While a truce is possible, Israeli military officials are still posting their defenses in the air and the coast of the Gaza Strip.

“We will continue to maintain defensive positions from the air, the coast and the ground outside the Gaza Strip,” Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said. He noted that previous cease-fires have collapsed and said what the army does next “all depends on what happens.”

Hamas has yet to make any public statements about the Cairo trip, but have confirmed that demands will be handled by the Egyptians. Israeli government officials are on their way to Egypt.

If there are any cease-fire violations like last week, Cairo’s plan to help both countries could quickly go awry.

Israeli government officials were not available for comment. Israel TV’s Channel 10 said the Israeli delegation had not yet left for Cairo. The report said Israel wanted to make sure the cease-fire held before sending negotiators to Egypt.

Gaps between the Israeli and Palestinian positions are wide, and it’s not clear how much can be achieved once talks get under way.

We’ll keep you updated on the latest.

SOURCE: AP | VIDEO: News Inc.