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No Deal In Sight As Israel-Hamas Cease-Fire Winds Down

The latest five-day cease-fire in Gaza is about to expire, but Israel and Hamas leaders both say conditions for a longer truce haven't been met.
Posted at 9:27 PM, Aug 17, 2014

The ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas has sort of faded into the background as violent clashes in Ferguson, Iraq and Ukraine captured the media's eye this week.

That's largely due to an extended cease-fire, renewed for five days on Thursday, which has given a brief respite from the fighting to those living in the Gaza area while negotiators in Cairo worked on establishing a long-term truce. (Video via CNN)

But the cease-fire is almost up — it expires on Monday at midnight local time — and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn't optimistic about the chances of any peace deal.

During a cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu vowed he would not agree to any truce that did not meet Israel's security needs. He told his ministers, "If Hamas thinks it can cover up its military loss with a diplomatic achievement, it is mistaken."

Things don't look much more promising from Palestine, either. 

PALESTINIAN LEGISLATOR MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: "The Palestinian side still demands a real lifting of the siege. What is proposed is not enough yet."

Both sides don't seem to be budging on their central demands for any cease-fire: Israel wants to demilitarize Hamas and ensure the group can't rearm itself, while Hamas is looking to lift Israel's blockade of Gaza and establish a seaport and airport in the region.

There have been some concessions — Haaretz notes Israel has partially lifted its fishing ban for Palestinians — but a final agreement is still elusive. Negotiators are now reportedly pushing for another extension to the current ceasefire.

So far 67 Israelis and almost 2,000 Palestinians have been killed during the fighting, which broke out July 8. There have been at least seven cease-fires which have paused the violence, though only briefly.

This video contains images from Getty Images