Hamas agrees to 72 hour truce announced by the US and UN

Posted: July 31, 2014 in World News
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Source: Jerusalem Post http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Hamas-agrees-to-72-hour-truce-announced-by-the-US-and-UN-369675#!

By REUTERS
08/01/2014 01:04

Kerry, Ban Ki-moon announce three day humanitarian truce, spokesman says Hamas agrees to the ceasefire commencing at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.

John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon make statements to reporters in Cairo Photo: REUTERS
UNITED NATIONS/NEW DELHI – Israel and Islamist militant group Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire in their conflict in the Gaza Strip starting on Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday.

The ceasefire will begin at 8 a.m.  on Aug. 1, they said in a joint statement. The statement said “forces on the ground will remain in place” during the truce, implying that Israeli ground forces will not withdraw.

Hamas said it would abide by a three-day mutual ceasefire with Israel to begin early on Friday.

“Acknowledging a call by the United Nations and in consideration of the situation of our people, resistance factions agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian and mutual calm that begins at 8 a.m on Friday as long as the other side abides by it,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

“All the Palestinian factions are united behind the issue in this regard,” Abu Zuhri said. UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry has received assurances that all parties have agreed to the humanitarian ceasefire, the statement put out by the US and UN said.

“We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian ceasefire begins, and to fully abide by their commitments during the ceasefire,” Kerry and Ban said. “This ceasefire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence.”

Israeli and Palestinian delegations will immediately travel to Cairo for negotiations with the Egyptian government to reach a durable ceasefire, the statement said.

Fifty-six Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza clashes in Gaza and some 400 wounded. Three civilians have been killed by Hamas shelling in Israel.

Gaza officials say 1,427 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and nearly 7,000 wounded.

The United Nations said nearly a quarter of the 1.8 million Palestinians in the Mediterranean enclave had been displaced, with more than 220,000 seeking shelter in U.N. facilities. Eight U.N. employees have been killed in the conflict.

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