A political Israeli source said on Friday that talks with the Palestinians in Cairo need much time if the parties are to agree to a bilateral ceasefire deal that ends in permanent calm in Gaza.
Speaking after an Israeli cabinet meeting the source said that the cabinet directed members of the Israeli delegation to Cairo to “maintain Tel Aviv’s security interests as a main condition for accepting demands of the Palestinian factions.”
Meanwhile, Naftali Bennett, the head of Israeli party Jewish Home, called for a unilateral end to the war on Gaza. He proposed easing the blockade in the Strip, opening the crossings and expanding the fishing zone.
Palestinian fighters accepted the extension of the truce on Wednesday night to continue ceasefire talks. The truce will end on Monday midnight. If no deal is reached, war is likely to resume.
A member of the Palestinian delegation to Cairo and senior Hamas leader Khalil Al-Hayya said on Thursday that both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides were on the edge of signing a deal on Wednesday night, but last-minute “wordplay” from Israel undermined the efforts.
The Israeli war on Gaza has claimed the lives of more than 1,960 Palestinians and wounded more than 10,000 others. Official Israeli statistics say that 67 Israelis were killed, including three civilians and 64 troops. More than 1,000, including 650 troops were also wounded. Hamas’ military wing said that it counted 161 Israeli troops killed by its fighters in the battlefield.