UK & World News

  • 11 August 2014, 21:58

Gaza Negotiators In Talks As Ceasefire Holds

An Israeli delegation has arrived in Cairo for negotiations over a durable truce in Gaza, after a ceasefire held overnight.

The 72-hour ceasefire began at midnight (10pm UK time).

The talks in Cairo, which include indirect negotiations with the Palestinians, are†aimed at securing a lasting end to the month-long conflict.

As the Israelis arrived in Cairo, a Palestinian delegation was already locked in talks with Egyptian intelligence mediators, who will relay their demands to the Israeli negotiators.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hopes the break will provide a "chance to agree on a durable ceasefire for the benefit of all civilian populations".

Since the last truce broke on Friday, warplanes have reportedly hit more than 170 targets in Gaza, killing at least 19 Palestinians.

Those injured include seven-year-old Maha, who was paralysed from the neck down in an airstrike that killed her family and who doctors are hoping to evacuate for specialist treatment.

Speaking to Sky News, the child said: "I want to go outside so fast so I can get well."

Her family was told there was a possible flight from Tel Aviv to take her to Turkey but they have to get her to Israel first.

The relatives are waiting for permission from Israel - but Israel has said it has not received the request, according to Sky's Katie Stallard.

It transpired that the request had to be sent to the Palestinian authority in Ramallah first, due to the political situation in Gaza.

Meanwhile, militants fired at least 136 rockets at Israel. Some 93 hit, according to the army.

The death toll since Israel launched its military campaign on July 8 topped 2,000 on Sunday - 1,939 Palestinians and 67 on the Israeli side.

The break in fire will allow Gazans to stock up on supplies and recover the dead buried beneath rubble.

Many Palestinians can only return to piles of rubble as more than 10,000 homes have been destroyed and the livelihoods of 300,000 people ruined.

Almost a third of the population - 500,000 people - are displaced within Gaza.

Preliminary reports say rebuilding Gaza will cost up to £4.8bn, according to the UN.

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal said for the ceasefire to hold, Israel must end its blockade of the Gaza Strip and reopen the seaport.

Israel's campaign has been aimed at destroying Hamas' infrastructure, including its network of tunnels†under the Gaza-Israel border intended for staging attacks in the Israeli territory.

Away from Gaza, an 11-year-old Palestinian boy was apparently shot dead by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.

Mohammed Khalil al Anati was killed in Al Fawwar refugee camp, southwest of the city of Hebron, a medical official said.