08/07/2014, 00.00
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Gaza War: Israel ready to extend ceasefire. But Hamas calls for end to blockade

Dialogue continues in Cairo. Gazans attempt to return to normal. Power available only three hours a day. Over 30 thousand houses damaged. Corpses discovered among the ruins. More than 1800 Palestinians dead, mostly civilians; 67 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The three-day cease-fire accepted by Israel and Hamas factions in Gaza has entered its third day, while the delegations of both parties are in Cairo to discuss a more stable ceasefire.

Israel has proposed to extend the cease-fire, but Hamas has placed the condition that the Cairo negotiations to reach concrete results, including the removal of the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the reopening of the border crossings to Egypt and Israel.

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed that 27 thousand reservists called up for the conflict were sent home, while 55 thousand remain.

Meanwhile, Gazans are attempting to return to normality: shops, banks, markets were reopened.

Thousands of almost 500 thousand displaced during the Israeli military operations have returned to their devastated homes. Palestinian sources say that about 6 thousand structures have been totally destroyed and at least 32150 houses damaged.

The electricity is being supplied for only three hours a day after Israeli bombs struck the Gaza Strip's only power plant. According to the Palestinian authorities it will take at least a year to restore the electricity supply of to pre-war levels, an average of eight hours a day.  

Yesterday, emergency crews discovered 10 dead bodies in the bombed ruins of Rafah and other areas. The final toll of four weeks war is 1885 dead at least 430 of these were children and 79 elderly. Palestinian medical sources estimate 9567 casualties, including 2878 children and 374 elderly.

On the Israeli side, the death toll is 67, of which only three are civilians, including a Thai migrant.

In his first comments after the truce, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Benjiamin has defended the actions of his country in the face of international criticism, justifying the conflict. "I think it was justified. I think it was proportionate and that doesn't in any way take away the deep regret we have for the loss of a single civilian casualty."



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See also
Fighting on periphery of Gaza; Ban Ki-moon going to Middle East
Gaza war: Truce prolonged for another 24 hours
UN, U.S., Arab League meet to stop the war in Gaza. Number of victims climbs
Uncertainty over ceasefire between Hamas and Israel
Israel accepts Gaza ceasefire with Hamas


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