Negotiations to end the month-long conflict between Israel and Hamas have made little progress, officials said on Tuesday.
The 72-hour truce that began on Sunday held for a second consecutive day but Israeli and Palestinian negotiators weren't any closer to reach an agreement last night, as both parties attended talks in Cairo.
The negotiations are expected to continue through Tuesday in the Egyptian capital, but both sides remain distant, with Hamas demanding the opening of a Mediterranean port for Gaza, while Israel has refused to lift the economic blockade on the war-torn city.
"The gaps between the sides are big and there is no progress in the negotiations," an Israeli official told Reuters.
Palestinian sources didn't seem to be more optimistic with one official telling Reuters: "So far we can't say a breakthrough has been achieved [...] 24 hours and we shall see whether we have an agreement."
Israel has resisted Hamas' demands for a port in Gaza, claiming the project should only be considered if the group agrees to a permanent peace agreement, fearing that Hamas might restock with weapons from abroad if coastal territory was made more accessible.
Having pulled its troops from Gaza last week, Israel wants guarantees that Hamas will not use any construction materials sent into the enclave to rebuild the tunnels used for cross-border attacks, which were destroyed by the Israeli army.
Palestinian officials insisted that the reconstruction process in Gaza will be overseen by the government set up by Hamas and the Fatah party of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) has appointed an international commission of inquiry to examine war crimes and breaches of human rights that both sides could have committed during the month-long war.
Israel condemned UN's decision but Hamas said it welcome the appointment of the commission, which will be headed by William Schabas, a Canadian professor of international law.
"Hamas welcomes the decision to form an investigation committee into the war crimes committed by the occupation (Israel) against Gaza and it urges that it begin work as soon as possible," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.
Israel described the Human Rights Council as biased against Israel and said it could not expect justice from the commission.
"The Human Rights Council long ago turned into the 'terrorist rights council' and a kangaroo court, whose 'investigations' are pre-determined," Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry said in a statement.
"If any more proof was needed, the appointment of the chairman of the panel, whose anti-Israel bias and opinions are known to all, proves beyond any doubt that Israel cannot expect justice from this body, whose report has already been written and all that is left is to decide who will sign off on it."