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Israeli troops deploy near Gaza as ceasefire deadline looms

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 01:30

Israel has deployed troops and tanks near Gaza in the final hours of the latest ceasefire, telling its forces to prepare for possible resumption of hostilities with Hamas. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Israeli tanks and troops -- deployed near Gaza. A 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas is approaching its final hours, with no sign of a breakthrough in negotiations. The soldiers have been told to prepare themselves if fighting resumes. The truce between Israel and the Palestinians expires Wednesday at midnight. Israel says there's been no progress in brokered talks in Cairo to end a month-long war. The fighting, says Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, could start again soon. (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER MOSHE YAALON SAYING: "On Wednesday at midnight I don't know if we will arrive at an arrangement. I don't know if we need to extend the negotiations, it could be that shooting will erupt again and we will again fire at them and again we will carry out operations and again they will try to carry out a terrorist attack by sea for one kind or another." The gaps between both sides in the talks are said to be big. Among other thing, Islamist Hamas, which dominates the Gaza Strip, wants an end to the Israeli and Egyptian blockade of this coastal Palestinian enclave. It's stifling the Gazan economy. But Israel has resisted lifting the blockade, fearing Hamas will use the opportunity to re-arm itself with weapons from abroad. Israel pulled its forces out of Gaza last week, saying its main goal of destroying Hamas underground tunnels was complete. Now, Israel wants guarantees from Hamas that -- if there is a negotiated peace -- Hamas won't use reconstruction efforts in Gaza to simply rebuild those tunnels for launching more attacks.

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Israeli troops deploy near Gaza as ceasefire deadline looms

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 01:30