Israel, Palestinians agree to new 72-hour cease-fire

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel and Hamas reportedly have agreed to a new 72-hour cease-fire.

The French news agency AFP reported Sunday evening that both sides in the current Gaza conflict have agreed to the new cease-fire. There has been no confirmation from Israeli officials.

An Israeli delegation has been dispatched to Cairo to finalize the agreement, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

The agreement comes after Egyptian mediators have been negotiating separately with both sides since a previous 72-hour cease-fire began nearly a week ago.

The Israeli delegation to the negotiations reportedly left Cairo when that cease-fire expired on Friday morning and rockets fired from Gaza again began to strike Israel. Israel insists that it will not negotiate under fire.

Following the reporting of the decision to try a new cease-fire, several barrages of rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israeli communities.

The Palestinian delegation had said earlier on Sunday that it would leave if an Israeli delegation did not arrive in Cairo to continue talks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday morning at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting that the operation is continuing. “The operation will continue until its goal is met – the restoration of a quiet for a long period. I said at the outset of, and throughout, the operation that it would take time and patience. Israel will not negotiate under fire and Israel will continue to take all action in order to change the current reality and bring quiet to all of its citizens,” he said.

The cease-fire reportedly would begin at midnight or 1 a.m. on Monday, according to reports.