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Palestinians reject ceasefire extension

No deal has also been struck in Egypt after talks between Palestinian groups and Israel.

Palestinians walks across the rubble of destroyed buildings and homes in Al-Salam neighbourhood, in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on 1 August 2014. Picture: AFP.

CAIRO/JERUSALEM/GAZA - Just an hour before the end of a 3-day ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel, senior Palestinian officials rejected a deal of a possible extension.

Palestinians officials say this is because Israel rejected all of the group's demands in indirect talks in Cairo, Egypt.

These include Israel agreeing in principle to end Gaza's border closure and allow the rebuilding of the territory.

Palestinians groups also want prisoners held by Israel to be freed.

Representatives from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel are all in Cairo with Egyptian mediators.

Meanwhile, Israel has said it's ready to indefinitely extend the 72-hour ceasefire.

Mediators worked against the clock on Thursday to extend the truce in the Gaza Strip, as the three-day ceasefire entered its final hours.

Hamas's armed wing said it was ready to resume fighting unless Palestinian demands were met, and Israel said it would respond forcefully if attacked.

ALMOST 2,000 KILLED

The Israeli Deefence Force says two rockets hit Southern Israel just four hours before the end of the ceasefire, but no injuries were reported.

After a month of bitter battles, the two sides are not talking face to face.

Gaza officials say the war has killed 1,875 Palestinians, most of them civilians.

Hamas said on Thursday it had executed an unspecified number of Palestinians as Israeli spies.

Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have died in the fighting that began on 8 July, after a surge in Palestinian rocket salvoes into Israel.

Half a million people have been displaced by the bloodshed with some residents leaving UN shelters to return to neighbourhoods devastated by Israeli shelling.

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