cbc.ca (© Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.html#Rss)
Updated: Sat, 23 Aug 2014 08:04:50 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

Gaza crisis: Egypt calls for open-ended ceasefire



A Palestinian firefighter reacts at the scene of what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza City August 23, 2014. Israeli aircraft bombed the Gaza Strip on Saturday and Palestinian militants fired rockets at the Jewish state, the military said, with no end in sight to the deadliest violence between the sides in years. Gaza health officials said five people were killed in an Israeli strike on a house in central Gaza. The Israeli military said it bombed about 20 targets across the Hamas-dominated strip, including rocket launchers and weapon caches. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (© GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

A Palestinian firefighter reacts at the scene of what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza City August 23, 2014. Israeli aircraft bombed the Gaza Strip on Saturday and Palestinian militants fired rockets at the Jewish state, the military said, with no end in sight to the deadliest violence between the sides in years. Gaza health officials said five people were killed in an Israeli strike on a house in central Gaza. The Israeli military said it bombed about 20 targets across the Hamas-dominated strip, including rocket launchers and weapon caches. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR43FUS Suhaib Salem/Reuters

Egypt called for an open-ended ceasefire in Gaza on Saturday, urging the Palestinians and Israel to return to indirect talks immediately.

The Egyptian foreign ministry statement Saturday came shortly after Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

A temporary ceasefire collapsed earlier this week, bringing the Cairo talks so a halt.

More than 2,090 Palestinians, including close to 500 children, have been killed since the war began on July 8.

Israel has lost 64 soldiers and four civilians, including a 4-year-old boy killed by a mortar shell Friday.

The war has caused widespread destruction in Gaza, leaving some 100,000 people homeless.

Palestinians mull joining International Criminal Court

Meanwhile, Hamas signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court, two senior officials in the group said Saturday. Palestinian acceptance of the court's jurisdiction could expose Israel — as well as Hamas — to war crimes investigations.

Hamas's written consent could further increase domestic pressure on Abbas to turn to the court. Such pressure has been mounting since the violence between Israel and Palestinian militants escalated on July 8.

A hesitant Abbas has debated for months whether to join the international court, a step that could transform his relations with Israel from tense to openly hostile, strain his ties with the United States and deprive his government of badly needed Western financial support.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined comment. Israel opposes involving the court, arguing that Israel and the Palestinians should deal with any issues directly.

more video