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Israeli official denies agreement to lift Gaza blockade
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Occupied Jerusalem, ALRAY - An Israeli official on Tuesday denied a report about the "understandings"  between Israel and the United States  regarding a gradual lifting of the blockade on Gaza.

A report in the Israeli news website Ynet cited an unnamed government official who said that Israel told Washington that it agreed to incrementally remove the  blockade of Gaza, first by opening the ground crossings into the Strip and later permitting  the opening of the sea port as well.

Lifting Israeli blockade and Egyptian restrictions on the border crossings to Gaza, eight years after they were put in place, is a key demand of the Palestinian delegation.

Israeli official - who spoke to the Israeli Channel 2 on condition of anonymity - said that no comprehensive agreement for a long-term truce has  been made, and that the Israeli delegation  remained in Cairo in order not  to undermine the Egyptian initiative.

Contrary to reports , Israeli representatives have not left Egypt after agreeing to lift the blockade on Gaza, according to a senior Israeli official involved in the negotiations.

The sources reported that talks are still continuing over core issues, including if and how the Israeli blockade of Gaza could be eased without compromising Israeli security.

The head of Palestinian delegation, Azzam al-Ahmad, played down the claims that a "major breakthrough" had been made in talks .

"If no agreement is reached, the cycle of violence will be renewed," he warned.

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