Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The truce in the Gaza Strip has been prolonged for a further 24 hours, extending the five-day ceasefire signed by Israeli and Palestinian delegations gathered in Cairo.
This new period of truce was launched just before midnight yesterday in the hope of reaching a more stable agreement.
Israel demands guarantees that the Strip will be demilitarized and therefore wants to control passage out of Gaza; Hamas wants an end to the blockade and the reopening of the crossing with Israel and Egypt.
Fatah officials say that both sides are showing "flexibility": a greater opening of the crossings to people and goods may be shortly agreed upon, leaving aside for now those of the port and airport in the Gaza Strip.
Israel also wants guarantees that during the reconstruction of the cities devastated by Israeli raids, there will not be a return to building underground tunnels for possible terrorist attacks. The UN said it was willing to act as a guarantor.
UN envoy for the Middle East Robert Serry said that at least 100 UN institutions have been affected by shelling. Over 16 thousand Palestinian homes and buildings were destroyed, leaving more than 100 thousand inhabitants homeless.
This latest Gaza war, which lasted nearly a month, left 2016 Palestinians dead and 10196 injured. The victims include 541 children, 250 women, 95 elderly.
There were 67 deaths on the Israeli side, of which three civilians, including a Thai migrant worker. The Israeli army has confirmed that five soldiers were killed by "friendly fire."