Gaza parties urged to reach deal before truce expires at midnight

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Robert Serry. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Israeli and Palestinian delegations holding talks in Cairo are being urged to agree on a durable ceasefire before the current truce expires at midnight.

The UN Special Envoy for the Middle East, Mr Robert Serry, made the appeal on Monday before the Security Council.

On 13 August, a temporary ceasefire that was in place between Israel and Gaza was extended for an additional five days.

On the fifth and last day of the truce, Mr Serry called on the delegations to "live up to this responsibility".

"By the deadline later today – midnight Cairo time, or 5 pm New York time – we urge the parties to reach an understanding on a durable ceasefire which also addresses the underlying issues afflicting Gaza, or make substantive progress towards it. At the very least, we hope that the ceasefire will be extended and the situation remains quiet."

The UN Envoy also urged the Council to make reconstruction a priority, and to allow construction material like cement, bar and aggregate into Gaza.

Their access to Gaza, he added, must be facilitated in such a way that fulfils Israel's legitimate security concerns.

Otherwise, Mr Serry warned, the restrictions on the Strip regarding the exit and entry of persons and goods, will continue to fuel instability.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’23″

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