IDF mobilizing forces along Gaza border as clock ticks on temporary cease-fire

Military calling up reservists as threat of renewed fighting looms with no sign of permanent truce apparent at tail end of 3-day cease-fire.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS, YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
August 13, 2014 17:57
1 minute read.
idf tank

IDF soldiers stand atop a tank near the border with Gaza. [File]. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The IDF was mobilizing forces along the border with Gaza on Wednesday ahead of the expiration of a three-day cease-fire at 12 a.m. Thursday, Channel 2 reported.

The threat of renewed fighting loomed as it remained uncertain whether Israeli and Palestinian negotiators engaged in indirect talks in Cairo would forge a long-term truce to take effect following the temporary one. 

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The IDF also deployed nine Iron Dome batteries throughout the country as Israel was bracing for the possibility of Gazan terrorists resuming rocket attacks in the event that cease-fire negotiations break down, Channel 2 cited a senior Air Force official as saying.

The military was also reportedly calling up addition reservists to bolsters the soldiers positioned near the Gaza border.

Palestinian officials said that they are seriously considering agreeing to extend talks past the 72-hour deadline.

On Wednesday, the clock ticked toward the end of a the temporary cease-fire with no sign of a breakthrough in indirect talks in Cairo.

It was reported by Reuters that President Barak Obama spoke to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday evening.



A Palestinian official with knowledge of the negotiations said Egypt had presented a new proposal for a permanent truce agreement that addressed a major Palestinian demand for a lifting of the Israeli and Egyptian blockades of the Gaza Strip.

Israel and Egypt harbor deep security concerns about Hamas, the dominant Islamist group in the small, Mediterranean coastal enclave, complicating any deal on easing border restrictions.

It was unclear from the official's remarks how those worries, along with Israel's demand for Gaza's demilitarization, would be dealt with. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said disarming was not an option.

Israeli negotiators returned to Egypt after returning overnight to Israel with the truce in the month-old hostilities due to expire.

Palestinian delegates and Egyptian intelligence officials reconvened for talks that could go down to the wire.

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