Ceasefire extension not discussed, says Hamas

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Gaza
Gaza, Aug 7: The Islamic Hamas movement denied on Wednesday that the Palestinian factions of the group have agreed to extend a 72-hour Egyptian mediated ceasefire between Palestinian militant groups and Israel.

"The issue of extending the ceasefire was not raised during the discussions in Cairo," Xinhua quoted Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zohri as saying.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israel has expressed its readiness to extend the truce, which will end on Friday morning, under its current terms.

Egypt is mediating indirect discussions between Israel and Palestinian factions including Hamas movement, to reach a long-term ceasefire to end a bloody conflict following a 72-hour truce. Egypt has urged both sides to extend the ceasefire in a bid to win time and tackle all complaints and demands.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Wednesday pledged full commitment to support Gaza's recovery from a month-long fighting between Israel and Hamas, calling for efforts to address the root causes of the conflict.

Israel stepped up a massive military operation in Gaza July 8 in order to halt Palestinian rocket fire.

The cross-border violence has so far killed around 1,900 Palestinians and 67 Israelis, including 64 soldiers.

IANS

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