US congressional delegation arrives in Egypt
By Mahmoud al-Husseini, Monday, August 11, 2014
CAIRO – A U.S. congressional delegation arrived in Cairo on Monday for talks with Egyptian officials, sources at the Cairo International Airport have said.
The delegation will discuss recent developments in the Middle East, including an Egyptian initiative aimed at securing a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, diplomatic sources said.
At least 1940 Palestinians have been killed thus far in one of Israel's deadliest-ever offensives against the embattled Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian officials, while some 10,000 Gazans have been injured.
A first round of indirect talks in Cairo between Palestinian factions and Israel failed to make any headway, as Gaza-based factions linked a ceasefire deal to Israeli concessions – including the lifting of a years-long blockade of the Gaza Strip and the establishment of a functioning seaport.
Other demands include allowing Gazan fishermen to ply their trade along the coast of the Palestinian enclave and freeing Palestinians recently detained by Israeli authorities.
Israel says its "Operation Protective Edge" is aimed at stopping Gaza-based Palestinian groups' ability to fire rockets at the self-proclaimed Jewish state.
According to Israeli figures, at least 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed in battles with Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip, while three civilians have been killed by Palestinian rocket attacks.
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