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Extension of truce in Gaza fans hope of progress in Israel-Hamas talks in Cairo

APTOPIX Mideast Israel Palestinians-1.jpg

A Palestinian man inspects the damage of his flat in the destroyed Nada Towers residential neighborhood in the town of Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. A new temporary truce took hold, Monday, in the monthlong war pitting the Israeli military against rocket-firing Hamas militants as negotiators from Israel and the Hamas militant group resumed indirect talks in Egypt on Monday. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) (The Associated Press)

A five-day extension of a Gaza truce appears to be holding despite a rocky start, fanning cautious optimism of progress in Israel-Hamas negotiations in Cairo.

It's the longest cease-fire yet since the war broke out last month in the Gaza Strip. The fighting has so far killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians. Israel has lost 67 people, all but three of them soldiers.

Violence briefly spiked as the extension of the truce was announced shortly before midnight Wednesday.

Israel's military says eight Hamas rockets were launched at Israel but that the firing stopped in the early hours Thursday. Israel retaliated with airstrikes on Gaza.

Palestinian negotiators in Cairo expressed optimism that a deal to create a sustainable roadmap for the war-torn territory could soon be achieved.