A Palestinian man cleans up his house as he returned early morning in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighborhood August 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
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An open-ended cease-fire in the Gaza war held Wednesday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced strong criticism in Israel over a costly conflict with Palestinian militants.In Israel, sirens warning of incoming rocket fire from the Gaza Strip fell silent.Palestinian health officials say 2,143 people, most of them civilians, including more than 570 children, have been killed in the enclave since July 8, when Israel launched an offensive with the declared aim of ending rocket salvoes.Israel's death toll stood at 64 soldiers and six civilians.Both Israel and Egypt view Hamas as a security threat and are seeking guarantees that weapons will not enter Gaza, a narrow, densely populated territory of 1.8 million people.Under a second stage of the truce that would begin a month later, Israel and the Palestinians would discuss the construction of a Gaza sea port and Israel's release of Hamas prisoners in the occupied West Bank, possibly in a trade for the remains of two Israeli soldiers believed held by Hamas, the officials said.Israel has in recent weeks said it wants the full demilitarization of Gaza.
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