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Top Palestinian official criticises Israel's 'bargaining behaviour' in talks

Statements come amid continued negotiations between Israel and Palestinian delegation

Ahram Online, Monday 11 Aug 2014
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Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat (Photo: Reuters)
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Saeb Erekat, top Palestinian negotiator, called on Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil El-Arabi to contact the UN, major global powers, the EU and any other concerned international organisation to deliver the urgent needs of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip through land, air and sea in a period of seven days, Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website reported Monday.

Erakat said that throughout the seven-day period, the parties should continue to commit to ceasefire negotiations in Cairo until a final agreement is reached.

Erakat described Israel's stance to the talks as "bargaining behavior" that aims to maintain the drastic conditions in Gaza and to meet the main Israeli political goal of disarming the resistance in the strip.

As of Sunday afternoon, the death toll in Gaza had reached 1,917, including 449 children. According to the UN, roughly 73 percent of the people killed were civilians.

A total of 64 Israeli soldiers were also killed as well as three civilians on the Israel side.

Israel and a Palestinian delegation began talks in Cairo on Monday to try and end the conflict in Gaza and lift the blockade on the coastal enclave, Egypt's state news agency MENA said.

The indirect talks are being mediated by Egypt and began a day after the two sides agreed to begin a new 72-hour truce.

"The Palestinian coalition government gives Israel no more excuses for refusing to deal with the Palestinian government" said Erakat the Arab League's emergency meeting on Monday.

During the meeting – attended by permanent representatives of the member-states – Erakat praised Egyptian efforts which have succeeded in establishing a second ceasefire after the first one collapsed.

On Sunday, Egypt called on Israeli and Palestinian factions to observe another 72-hour cease-fire, and to resume talks in pursuit of a lasting agreement.

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