Israel and Palestine work to expand truce to West Bank

Israeli and Palestinian officials were today working to expand a ceasefire to the West Bank, as the Gaza truce which took effect Sunday appeared to be holding.

Israeli and Palestinian officials were today working to expand a ceasefire to the West Bank, as the Gaza truce which took effect Sunday appeared to be holding.

Saeb Erekat, a confidant of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said he hoped to have an agreement within the next three days.

“What we want is a comprehensive cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and all over,” he said.

Israeli officials said they would wait to see what happens in Gaza first.

“If the ceasefire in Gaza works, I hope it will be possible to transfer that more positive reality to the West Bank as well,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.

Officials on both sides said they hoped the truce could lead to new peace talks after years of fighting.

“We’re hopeful that the ceasefire will allow us to turn the corner … to start a new set of relationships with the Palestinians,” Regev said.

“And if the Palestinians keep their commitments under the ceasefire agreement, it really will be possible to move forward and re-energise the political process.”

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