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Hamas expects ceasefire talks to resume Sunday

CAIRO (AA) – A senior leader of the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas on Saturday said that a Palestinian delegation conducting indirect talks in Cairo with Israel on a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip had not been officially notified about the time the talks would resume after they were suspended early on Friday. "The talks were suspended because of the Jewish holiday on Saturday," Moussa Abu Marzouq, a member of the Political Office of Hamas, told Anadolu Agency. He expected, however, the talks to be resumed on Sunday when the Israeli delegation returns to Cairo from Israel.
The Palestinians and the Israelis had been negotiating a durable arrangement in the Gaza Strip in Cairo, almost a month after Israel launched incessant attacks against the Gaza Strip, killing hundreds of people and injuring thousands of others.
A three-day humanitarian ceasefire came to an end in Gaza early on Friday, opening the door for more Israeli strikes that killed 11 Palestinians so far, according to Palestinian medical sources.
The Israeli delegation in the talks had left to Tel Aviv a short time before the ceasefire came to an end on Friday, leaving the Palestinian delegation behind in Cairo.
Earlier on Saturday, the website of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted an unnamed official as saying that Israel would not send its delegation back to Cairo to negotiate with the Palestinians so long as rocket attacks continue to take place on Israel from Gaza.
Abu Marzouq, meanwhile, called on the Egyptian government to clarify its position on earlier statements by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni that both Egypt and Israel agree on the need to strangle Hamas.
"These statements were made in public," Abu Marzouq said. "The Egyptian government's response in this regard must also be made in public," he added.
By Hazem Badr

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