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Gaza: Talks to cement ceasefire take place in Cairo

Palestinians and Israelis will today hold talks to cement a ceasefire agreed to by both sides.

FILE: Palestinians flash the sign of victory wave a national flag as they celebrate in the streets in East Jerusalem the long-term truce agreed between Israel and the Palestinians on August 26, 2014

JERUSALEM - Palestinians and Israelis will hold talks in Cairo today to cement the ceasefire agreed to last month.

More than 2,200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, 66 Israeli soldiers and five Israeli civilians were killed in the 50 days of fighting.

Rival Palestinian faction groups have been meeting behind closed doors in Cairo, ahead of the talks with Israel.

But the two groups have so far failed to make headway and each blames the other.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is pushing to head a temporary unity government of experts in both the West Bank and Gaza until new elections are held.

But Hamas, which has been emboldened after its 50-day war with Israel that saw its popularity grow, isn't so willing to hand over power.

The rivalry could harm Gaza's post-war reconstruction efforts.

Donor countries, due to meet next month in Egypt, are likely to hold back aide if Hamas refused to step aside.

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