1st LD: Egypt offers 'real chance' truce plan to end Gaza conflict

1st LD: Egypt offers 'real chance' truce plan to end Gaza conflict

CAIRO, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al- Sisi said on Saturday that an Egyptian truce plan provided a "real chance" to end the Gaza conflict, urging both Israel and the Palestinians to implement it.

"The Egyptian proposal is the real chance to find a solution to the crisis in Gaza and to end the bloodshed," Sisi said in a televised joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

"Time is limited, and we have to make full use of it to stop the bloodshed of Palestinians as soon as possible," he added.

When the ongoing Gaza conflict broke out last month, Egypt raised a cease-fire proposal, accepted by Israel but rejected by Hamas. The Islamist group criticized Egypt of ignoring it when offering this proposal.

After the Muslim Brotherhood was designated as a terrorist organization late last year, the Egyptian government decided to further isolate its close ally -- Hamas, and the relation between both sides became tense.

For his part, the Italian prime minister showed support for Egypt's proposal and called for the release of an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas.

"I join my voice to the voices of European ministers in calling for the release of the captured Israeli soldier," Renzi said.

A Palestinian delegation, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives, is expected in Cairo on Saturday to discuss a long-term truce, a day after a temporary 72-hour cease-fire collapsed.