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Foreign ministers call for extension of Gaza 12-hour cease-fire

Foreign ministers from seven nations are calling for an extension of the 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Saturday also urged world leaders to negotiate a long-term truce that addresses Israel’s concerns about security while also trying to accommodate Palestinian demands to open borders to more people living in Gaza and spurring economic development there.

Fabius spoke on behalf of diplomats from Britain, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Qatar, and the United States who gathered for a day of talks in Paris.

The French diplomat also raised concerns for civilians in both Gaza and Israel who have been caught in the crossfire of the war that is now in its third week.

Over the past 19 days, over 1,000 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed and more than 6,000 wounded, a Palestinian health official said. Israel has lost 40 soldiers and two civilians.