CAIRO, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- As Gaza saw its second day of a durable three-day cease-fire, a senior Israeli official said peace talks in Cairo between Israel and Hamas have thus far yielded no breakthrough.
Negotiators have been holding indirect talks, with Egyptian diplomats as a go-between. Officials from both sides say an intense session scheduled for late Tuesday could bring a more sustainable end to five weeks of violence. Over 1,900 Palestinians, and 64 Israelis, have been killed in fighting that began with trading over-the-border rocket fire and escalated into an Israeli military assault on Gaza.
In negotiations, Hamas is seeking an end to a blockade by Egypt and Israel that has closed Gaza's borders and made its residents rely exclusively on humanitarian aid. Israel has demanded the demilitarization of Hamas, the political and military group governing Gaza, before it loosens restrictions on border use and imports.
The United Nations' World Food Program took advantage of the cease-fire, which began Sunday, to begin a projected two-week plan to deliver rice and wheat flour to Gazan families.