With just a few precious hours left of a five-day ceasefire, Gazans are rushing to stock up on supplies.
It comes as Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu announced that they would strike ‘with force’, should Hamas resume rocket fire when the truce expires at midnight local time.
The death toll in the conflict stands at 2,016 according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Sixty four soldiers and three civilians have died on the Israeli side.
For the Palestinians the talks hinge on Israel lifting its blockade of the Gaza strip, also of concern to the international community.“It remains my conviction that we must not leave Gaza in the condition it was in before this latest escalation, otherwise the restrictions on the (Gaza) Strip, on exit and entry of goods and people will continue to fuel instability, under-development and conflict,” said Robert H. Serry, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process at the UN.
Netanyahu said that any deal on the coastal enclave would have to meet the security demands of Israel.
The Egyptian mediators hope for an extension to the ceasefire, with any outstanding issues to be resolved at a later date.