Time running out on Gaza cease-fire between Israel and Hamas

Gaza (CNN) -- Less than a day remains of a temporary cease-fire in Gaza.

Indirect talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials aimed at agreeing on a more lasting end to hostilities are expected to continue Wednesday in Cairo. The three-day truce is due to expire just after midnight local time (5 p.m. ET).

Egypt is pushing the Israelis and Palestinians to extend the cease-fire past its current deadline, a senior Egyptian government official told CNN on Wednesday.

"This is a very sensitive time in the negotiations, and it's hard to predict the outcome at this point," said the official, who asked not to be identified because he's not authorized to speak the media about the talks.

Earlier cease-fires in the Gaza conflict, which has killed more than 2,000 people in slightly over a month, have failed to last more than a few hours or days. The previous truce, which was also accompanied by talks in Cairo, unraveled last week when Palestinian militants resumed rocket fire into Israel.

It remains unclear whether the two warring parties -- Israel and Hamas, the militant Islamic group that runs Gaza -- will be able to reach a compromise. The two sides aren't even talking face to face but through Egyptian go-betweens. Israel, like the United States and European Union, labels Hamas a terrorist organization; Hamas rejects Israel's right to exist.

Hamas is represented in Cairo by a delegation made up of multiple Palestinian factions. But the group has made its demands clear.

 


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