Gaza ceasefire holds - negotiations between Hamas and Israel resume today

AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

The latest 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza, which took effect at 9pm GMT on Sunday, is holding so far.

Negotiations between Hamas and Israeli officials are due to resume in Cairo today in an effort to end the current crisis.

The Israeli delegation previously flew home on Friday when peace talks broke down and fighting resumed.

More than 1,900 Palestinians – almost all of whom are civilians – have been killed since Israeli airstrikes began on July 8 under the title 'Operation Protective Edge'.

The escalation in violence has since also killed 67 Israelis, and 80 per cent of Gaza has been cut off from electricity. Humanitarian agencies report that there is just 1 litre of water a day per person in the Palestinian city, which falls far below UN emergency standards and it is now widely considered a full-blown humanitarian crisis.

According to Reuters, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri has declared that the resumed peace-talks are "the last chance" for a deal to be brokered.

Hamas are standing firm in their call for an end to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza, while Israel is refusing to consider such a move until future deals for a permanent truce.

The Foreign Ministry in Egypt has urged both negotiators from both parties to "exploit this truce to resume indirect negotiations immediately and work towards a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire agreement."

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