Israel's security cabinet has agreed to extend a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza Strip by 72 hours if respected by Palestinian factions, Israeli sources said Wednesday. "The cabinet agreed to extend the ceasefire by 72 hours if Palestinian factions abided by the extension," the sources were quoted as saying by Israeli Channel Two. No official statement, however, was issued to confirm the approval. A three-day ceasefire brokered by Egypt between the Palestinian factions and Israel expires with the end of Wednesday, unless renewed or replaced by a durable ceasefire deal. Palestinian factions have linked any permanent ceasefire to Israel's approval of their demands, including the lifting of a years-long blockade on the Gaza Strip and allowing the establishment of a seaport, among others. According to Israeli Channel 10, Israeli negotiators returned to Israel on Wednesday from Cairo after the end of indirect talks with Palestinian factions. Israel has already begun amassing troops near the border with the Gaza Strip.
The army said it had moved infantry, artillery and combat forces from what it called "assembly areas" to "assessment areas" for anticipated operational deployments.
At least 1951 Palestinians – mostly civilians – have been killed and more than 10,000 injured in Israeli attacks since July 7.
Within the same period, at least 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed in battles with Palestinian fighters inside Gaza, while three civilians have been killed by Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.