US President Barack Obama discussed late Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ongoing negotiations mediated by Egypt to reach common ground for a ceasefire, according to a statement issued by the White House.
Obama renewed his support for Egyptian efforts to achieve a "sustainable ceasefire agreement."
”The President reaffirmed the United States’ support for Egypt’s mediation efforts and underscored the importance of achieving a sustainable outcome that ensures Israel’s security and addresses Gaza’s humanitarian crisis," highlighted the statement.
Meanwhile, a new ceasefire was announced late Wednesday in a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry.
"An agreement to extend the ceasefire for five days has been accepted by both sides to allow more time for negotiations," the statement said.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Azzam Al-Ahmed confirmed the ceasefire would last for five days, unlike two previous 72-hour lulls.
The joint Palestinian delegation, which has arrived in Cairo two weeks ago, will leave Thursday to consult with their leaderships on truce negotiations.
Sources previously told Ahram Online that Israel's delegation left Cairo late Wednesday.
The Palestinian delegation officially presented its demands for a permanent ceasefire last week, including an immediate Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, halting airstrikes, lifting the Israeli blockade on the coastal strip, and releasing Palestinian prisoners.
Israel's offensive on Gaza, which began on 8 July, led to the death of more than 1,930 Palestinians and the injury of more than 10,000 others. A total of 64 Israeli soldiers were killed as well as three civilians on the Israeli side.