CAIRO: Palestinian negotiators will leave Cairo on Sunday unless Israel agrees to return to Egyptian-mediated negotiations to end the war in Gaza without setting conditions, the head of the delegation, Azzam Ahmed, has said.
“Tomorrow we have a meeting with the Egyptian leadership in the morning and on the basis of that we will decide our future plan,” Ahmed told a private television channel.
“We will leave Cairo tomorrow if it is confirmed to us that they will not return except with conditions.”
Israel has said it will not take part in truce talks while violence is ongoing.
Reporting from West Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s Jane Ferguson said Sunday would be a day of decision in terms of whether the talks would continue or collapse
“The Palestinians say they will no longer wait for the Israelis to come back if they do not return to these negotiations. Officially, they withdrew from the negotiations on Friday morning when the 72 hour ceasefire expired. Shortly after, rocket fire from Gaza into Israel did resume and air strikes by Israel were returned.”
Palestinians factions in Cairo for the negotiations refused to extend a 72-hour ceasefire that expired on Friday, saying Israel had refused to accept demands including an end to the blockade of Gaza and the opening of a seaport.
Meanwhile, Israel launched more than 30 air attacks in Gaza on Saturday, killing nine Palestinians, and Palestinian fighters fired rockets at Israel as the conflict entered a second month, defying international efforts to revive a ceasefire.
Medical officials in Gaza said two Palestinians were killed when their motorcycle was bombed and the bodies of three others were found beneath the rubble of one of three bombed mosques.
Two Palestinians were killed in an air strike on a car in the southern town of Rafah, Gaza medics said. A 13-year-old girl and a man were killed in other air assaults, hospital officials said.
An Israeli military statement said four of the Palestinians targeted on Saturday were Hamas fighters.
The Israeli military said that since midnight it had struck more than 30 sites in the coastal enclave, without specifying the targets. Gaza fighters fired 30 rockets into southern Israel on Saturday, setting off sirens but causing no damage, the military said.
Citing security concerns over continued rocket fire, Israeli police banned an anti-war protest planned for Tel Aviv on Saturday, saying regulations prohibited large gatherings in areas at risk of attack.
However, about 150 demonstrators defied the ban and gathered at the protest, police said.
Heavy civilian casualties and destruction during Israel’s campaign in packed residential areas of the Gaza Strip have raised international alarm over the past month.
Gaza officials say the war has killed 1,914 Palestinians, most of them civilians. Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have died in the fighting that started on July 8.
The White House has urged Israel and the Palestinians to do what they can to preserve civilians after having failed to extend their ceasefire, while UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that any further fighting would “exacerbate the already appalling humanitarian situation in Gaza”. Agencies