JERUSALEM (AP) — A temporary truce between Israel and Hamas has held for a second day, as negotiators for Israel and Hamas huddled for another day of talks mediated by Egypt.
The talks continued well into the evening, but it's not clear whether the two enemies had made any progress. A temporary truce expires at midnight tomorrow.
The Israeli delegation returned to Egypt today after a trip back to Israel. A senior Israeli official said there are still large gaps between the Israeli and Hamas representatives taking part in the indirect talks in Cairo.
Hamas is demanding an end to an Israel-Egyptian blockade that has ravaged Gaza's economy. Israel says the blockade is needed to keep Hamas, which fired thousands of rockets into Israel during the war, from smuggling weapons. Israel is seeking guarantees that it disarm.
With the truce set to expire, Egypt pressed the sides hard to reach a deal.
In one possible sign of progress, there's a report (on the Ynet website) that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been speaking to senior Cabinet members about an emerging agreement.
But Israel's defense minister says he doesn't know if there will be a deal by tomorrow night's deadline, and he says fighting could resume.
APPHOTO XAH110: Palestinians walks next the rubble of homes destroyed by Israeli strikes in the town of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. A temporary Israel-Hamas truce was holding for a second day Tuesday as marathon, indirect negotiations on a lasting cease-fire and a long-term solution for the battered Gaza Strip were set to resume in Cairo. (AP Photo/Adel Hana) (12 Aug 2014)
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