Meanwhile in Gaza, people are still dying

Meanwhile in Gaza, people are still dying

Israeli officials have said they have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as the death-toll there creeps ever higher.

According to the United Nations, as of this morning 1,948 people have died since Israel began Operation Protective Edge last month, 456 of them children and 237 women.

Meanwhile 67 Israelis have died, including 64 soldiers and one foreign national.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said 425,000 people were at UN shelters in Gaza, with the thin coastal region home to 1.8million people now receiving only three to six hours of electricity a day.

A three-day ceasefire ended on Friday, with Israel resuming shelling of targets in Gaza despite withdrawing most of its troops having claimed to have destroyed tunnels constructed by Hamas.

Egypt has been mediating between Palestinian and Israeli delegations - who do not conduct negotiations directly - in the hope of reaching an agreement on a new 72-hour truce to allow humanitarian work.

The new ceasefire will begin at 1am local time tomorrow, with further talks only set to take place if Hamas pledges to stop rocket attacks.

Hopes of a lasting peace seem as far away as ever, however, with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying: "The operation will continue until its objective - the restoration of quiet over a protracted period - is achieved.

"I said at the beginning and throughout the operation - it will take time, and stamina is required."

(Pictures: AP)

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