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Clock ticks down to end of Gaza truce deadline

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Cairo will readdress the thorny issue of a ceasefire and Israel’s Gaza blockade Wednesday, as the clock ticks down to a 2100 GMT deadline ending a 72-hour truce. By that time, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in the Egyptian capital must have either agreed on a permanent truce, accepted an extension or risk a resumption of more than a month of bloody fighting. The Israelis flew back to Israel, airport officials said, for likely consultations with their government. As Gaza’s residents ventured out into the quiet to try to piece together their battered lives, negotiators held a second round of indirect talks Tuesday aimed at finding a durable end to the five-week confrontation.

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