Israelis 'shot at Gaza officials' on day 2 of Gaza truce
Gaza City municipality officials reported to have been fired on as they inspected damaged park.

Gaza City municipality officials have accused the Israeli army of attacking its members in the eastern Gaza Strip on the second day of a 72-hour ceasefire.

Israeli forces opened fire on municipal officials as they were assessing damage to a park in the al-Shujaya district, the municipality said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The officials narrowly escaped the Israeli gunfire," municipal official Montasser Shehadah said.

There were no other reports of breaches in the ceasefire. as Israeli and Palestinian factions otherwise continued to observe the Egyptian-brokered three-day ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, from which Israel has completely withdrawn its forces from the long-besieged Palestinian enclave.

Representatives from the two sides are holding indirect talks in Cairo aimed at agreeing a durable ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri held talks with Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair and U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process Robert Serry on the Gaza Strip.

The talks focused on ways of reaching a durable ceasefire between Palestinian factions and Israel, Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Ati said in a statement.

Shoukri briefed the two officials on Egypt's efforts which had led to the 72-hour ceasefire, he said.

Palestinian factions have presented a set of demands including, the lifting of the Israeli siege on Gaza, which was imposed in 2006, and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Thousands of Israelis living in southern communities along the border with the Gaza Strip were unprepared to return home due to a possible re-eruption of violence, an Israeli paper reported.

"In the next one or two days there are really few people who will go back to their homes," Ofer Neiman, a spokesman for the NGO Kibbutz Movement, was quoted as saying by The Jerusalem Post.

Neiman said around 12,000 people plan to remain in the north until at least the end of the three-day ceasefire, which came into effect Tuesday.

The Israeli army said that its forces had destroyed tunnels linking Gaza to the Israeli territory during its near one-month offensive.

At least 1,867 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and nearly 9,500 wounded in Israeli attacks since July 7, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The Israeli army said 64 of its troops had been killed and 651 injured others in its operations, while three civilians were killed in rocket attacks on Israeli cities.

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Last Modified: 2014-08-07 09:36:24
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