Truce negotiations

Egypt is trying to secure a lasting ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian group.

Diplomats said the Egyptian proposal includes a prisoner exchange and the initial opening of at least two of the enclave's border crossings.
   
Israel wants any truce deal to include the release of Gilad Shalit, the soldier held captive in Gaza since 2006, while Hamas wants the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in return.
   
Ehud Barak, Israel's defence minister, has played down reports in the Arab media that significant progress had been made in talks to free Shalit.
   
"The answer is negative. We are not there yet and it remains unclear if we are going to reach that point,"  Barak told Army Radio.