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Gaza truce extension fans hope of Cairo talks deal

By The Associated Press

This article was published August 14, 2014 at 8:57 a.m.

CAIRO — A five-day extension of a Gaza truce appeared to be holding despite a rocky start Thursday, fanning cautious optimism of progress in the indirect negotiations under way in Cairo between Israel and major Palestinian factions, including Hamas.

It's the longest cease-fire yet since the war broke out last month in the Gaza Strip. The fighting has so far killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, according to Palestinian and U.N. officials. Israel has lost 67 people, all but three of them soldiers.

Violence briefly spiked as the extension of a previous, 72-hour truce was announced shortly before midnight Wednesday. The extension is to last until midnight Monday.

Israel's military said eight Hamas rockets were launched at Israel but that the firing stopped in the early hours of Thursday morning. Israel retaliated with airstrikes on rockets and rocket-launching sites in Gaza, the military said.

Gaza police said it recorded 17 Israeli strikes but that no casualties were reported.

Read Friday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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