In a matter of hours, a temporary cease-fire in Gaza is set to expire, but Egypt is working with the Israelis and Palestinians to extend the harboring deadline.
According to CNN, an Egyptian government official told reporters that negotiations between Israel and Hamas have been intense, but they are hoping to extend the cease-fire that has already killed more than 2,000 people, including women and children.
Egypt is pushing the Israelis and Palestinians to extend the cease-fire past its current deadline, a senior Egyptian government official told CNN on Wednesday.
“This is a very sensitive time in the negotiations, and it’s hard to predict the outcome at this point,” said the official, who asked not to be identified because he’s not authorized to speak to the media about the talks.
The deadline for the truce will expire at midnight, 5 p.m. EST.
Hamas is represented in Cairo by a delegation made up of multiple Palestinian factions. But the group has made its demands clear.
It says it wants an end to Israel’s economic blockade on Gaza, an extension of fishing rights off the coast, the reopening of an airport and seaport, and the release of prisoners held by Israeli authorities.
Officials are worried that the demands will not be met and civilians will once again find themselves in danger.
Unfortunately, fears became reality when five people died after an Israeli rocket detonated while technicians were examining it on Wednesday.
Among the victims were AP video journalist Simone Camilli, 35, and a Palestinian freelance translator who also worked for the AP.
The blast occurred in a dirt soccer field in this northern Gaza town where the squad, part of the Hamas-run police force, has collected unexploded rockets, missiles, bombs dropped from Israeli aircraft and other potentially dangerous weapons from homes, streets, or wherever they landed. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the squad had retrieved more than 1,000 unexploded items since the battle between Israeli forces and Gaza’s militants began July 8, many of them during the 72-hour cease-fire set to expire after 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
The Beirut-based journalist leaves behind his partner Ylva Van den Burg, and their 3-year-old daughter, Nour.