Palestinian negotiator doubts Gaza ceasefire deal

A Palestinian negotiator has cast doubts on reaching an agreement with Israel on a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip during indirect talks in Egypt.

A Palestinian negotiator has cast doubts on reaching an agreement with Israel on a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip during indirect talks in Egypt.

RAMALLAH – A Palestinian negotiator has cast doubts on reaching an agreement with Israel on a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip during indirect talks in Egypt.

"The gap is still wide between Palestinian and Israeli sides," Qais Abdel-Karim said in a press release on Monday.

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators resumed their indirect talks in Cairo on Monday for reaching a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip following a three-day ceasefire brokered by Egypt that started on Monday.

The first round of talks stalled last week over Israel's refusal to lift the years-long blockade on the Gaza Strip and the establishment of a seaport.

Abdel-Karim said both the Palestinians and the Israelis have different understandings of the different issues related to the crisis in Gaza.

While Palestinians want the years-long siege on the Gaza lifted, "Israel only wants to regulate the siege, not lifting it," he said.

Israel has been imposing an all-out blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2006 when the Gaza-based Palestinian movement Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections.

"Cairo tries to find a common ground to bring the crisis to an end," Abdel-Karim said.

Since July 7, Israel has pounded the coastal territory, killing at least 1943 Palestinians and injuring nearly 10,000 others.

Thousands of homes in Gaza have also been destroyed over the same period.

At least 64 Israeli soldiers, meanwhile, have been killed in battles with Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip, while three civilians have been killed by Palestinian rocket fire, according to Israeli figures.

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